NCsoft Austin makes minor cuts

After cataclysmic online reports, Korea-based MMOG publisher confirms 21 positions have been eliminated at its Texas studio.

Yesterday, a spate of rumors slashed across the Internet claiming that ill tidings were brewing at NCsoft's Austin, Texas, office, which houses such games as Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa and the membership-optional, ad-supported Dungeon Runners. According to various online reports, the Korea-based publisher was preparing to shutter its Austin operation, and in the process shutting down Dungeon Runners, which launched for the PC in July, and outsourcing Tabula Rasa development to Guild Wars makers ArenaNet.

It now appears that though NCsoft will be making some cuts to its Austin studio, those initial rumblings were blown widely out of proportion.

"We are announcing that 21 positions are being eliminated in the Austin office of NCsoft in the area of product development," an NCsoft representative told GameSpot. "Primarily this is related to products which we have not previously announced and were in prototype phases. We are also cutting some positions on the Dungeon Runners team after deciding not to port the client to other platforms at this time."

Playing down the impact that this will have on NCsoft Austin, the representative noted that the staff reductions represent only about 6 percent of the studio's total workforce, which stands at around 300. The rep also flatly denied allegations that the Tabula Rasa team will be impacted by the layoffs. As part of NCsoft's Q2 earnings report earlier today, the publisher revealed that during the three-month period ended June 30, the Richard Garriott-led sci-fi MMOG had generated just $1.9 million of the publisher's $78 million total haul.

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Discussion

10 comments
arc_salvo
arc_salvo

Well, this isn't surprising news to me. Dungeon Runners has interesting atmosphere/personality, but the gameplay didn't suck me in at all, and as for Tabula Rasa, it still has some bugs/problems/missing features that were promised since closed Beta. Sure, a lot of great new features have been added and some very good balance changes have been made, but I find myself using the /bug command like crazy to log things that I swear I'd /bugged before back in closed/open beta, and the general polish of the game still seems to be very lacking. Also, it could really use more weapons to choose from, especially ones with rapid/automatic fire.

aura_enchanted
aura_enchanted

al masir if u read carefully there terminations were mainly for people who were working on a console port of an existing game (they said sumthing about dungeon runners) so there was your game to be, now gone :(

PipeBigboss
PipeBigboss

Well the TR game is good but needs a new perspective, more balance is need it

amerus
amerus

i like tabula rasa in one way but like most say, it got released to early, it's missing so much. something that made me stop playing. and the conestant threats of it beeing closed with the bad income of it, is something that makes me not wanting to waste my money on it.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

TR was just too little of anything. It didnt do enough well to warrant anyone to switch from their current games to play it which means its not gonna generate much revenue ... really stinks i guess. Guildwars 2 should rock though so thats a ++

angelcar
angelcar

That's too bad. i like TR. I'm not usually an MMO guy, but I actually gave that one a try and liked it. As for Lord British's space station trip, I believe he is paying for it, not NC Soft.

runstalker
runstalker

NCsoft needs to get serious again. They're spending money on ridiculous marketing ideas like the "Bling Gnome" and all of Lord British's costly ventures, like his trip to the space station. NCsoft's US branches need to buckle down, stop wasting Korea HQ's cash, and put some serious effort into the production values and marketing of Aion and Guild Wars 2, their two obvious aces on PC. Enough of the impulsive sideshow acts. Bring on those 2 betas and pre-orders with maximum support if you want to return to profitability in the US. Proceed without the crutch of Lineage addicts in the East to hold up the company.

flipin_jackass
flipin_jackass

Wow, that's too bad. I remember T-Mobile and Air Jordan ads in loading screens of Dungeon Runners. Those must have generated some great revenue, but wasn't enough.

al-masri
al-masri

Has there been any news about their PS3 project?

Lord_Tigger
Lord_Tigger

Austin is rated as one of the most economically stable cities in America right now. I hope the 21 people can find another job soon.