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Guild Wars developers ArenaNet are bracing for mass lay-offs

Published: 23:57, 21 February 2019
Picture of a player character looking at an Exalted map
Guild Wars 2 - What could that big energy reading be?

Guild Wars series' developer ArenaNet are reportedly about to undergo mass lay-offs as their revenue didn't meet NCSoft's expectations. The news came as a surprise to everyone it seems, as ArenaNet CEO seemingly wasn't aware of this.

NCSoft is the publisher company behind both ArenaNet's major titles - Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 that eventually bought out the developer company and is now calling all the shots. They have now reportedly decided to "restructure" ArenaNet and integrate its publishing division with that of NCSoft.

This apparent "restructuring" will have mass layoffs as a consequence, according to Kotaku's Jason Schreier. His inside source that the employees received an internal mail from Songyee Yoon, the CEO of NCSoft West, explaining that targets have not been met and that the current system is unsustainable.

Yoon added that cutting cost will be the next step and ArenaNet's CEO Mike O'Brien called a meeting with the staff the same afternoon, to discuss the layoffs further. It is mostly those employees who worked on cancelled projects who are worried they are the top picks for layoffs, but there is currently no information on whether anyone can be considered "safe". 

ArenaNet's staff, as well as the CEO, have apparently been unaware of these decisions until recently. The main indicator is that they offered support to any former employees of Activision Blizzard who got hit by the mass layoffs there, ArenaNet was offering.

Considering that happened under 10 days of ArenaNet's own mass layoffs, it is highly unlikely anyone knew what was going to happen. According to , those laid off will get two-month severance and potentially bonus time based on tenure with the company.

ArenaNet Screenshot from Guild Wars showing the legendary I Pull Levers Well bot Guild Wars - I Pull Levers Well the tiny ranger on the left

Fans of the original Guild Wars are worried that their game may be coming to an end, as NCSoft have a history of shutting down games who still had a decent following, such as Company of Heroes and WildStar. Guild Wars is an almost 14-year-old game and requires minimal investments to keep it running according to developers, but its future remains to be seen.

Guild Wars screenshots from various campaigns with new graphics

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Guild Wars - Statue1
Screenshots from ArenaNet's Guild Wars video game, after it got updated graphics. It looked great before as well, but details for longer distances are a welcome addition. Most of the screenshots are before and after comparisons in-game.

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