Guild Wars cocreator leaves NCsoft

ArenaNet president of product development Jeff Strain parts amicably with South Korean MMOG company; publishing president David Reid also out.

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In late 2008, NCsoft underwent significant corporate restructuring in a bid to realign the massively multiplayer online-focused company under its Western and Eastern-focused markets. Now, two executives chosen to lead NCsoft's Western arm--Jeff Strain and David Reid--have parted ways with the South Korea-based game maker.

Jeff Strain
Jeff Strain

"NCsoft West announces the departure of Jeff Strain, president of product development, who has chosen to leave NCsoft under amicable terms and NCsoft wishes him the best in his new endeavor," NCsoft West confirmed in a statement issued to GameSpot. Strain is perhaps best known as a cofounder of Guild Wars creator ArenaNet, which NCsoft purchased in 2003.

The publisher noted that Strain's departure will not adversely impact the launch of its latest massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Aion, which is expected to go online in North America on September 22 and in Europe on September 25. "These changes do not influence any other teams, development schedules or other launches," NCsoft West went on to say.

NCsoft West underscored that Strain's and Reid's departures were unrelated to each other. "In an unrelated and separate event, David Reid is no longer with the company," NCsoft West said in a second statement. "David joined NCsoft in early 2008 as vice president of marketing and helped in the formation of NCsoft West and the relocation of our headquarters to Seattle. David brought passion and talent to our organization, and he will be missed."

In addition to Guild Wars and Aion, NCsoft is known for its work on the Lineage franchise, which is popular in Asia, as well as the Western-focused City of Heroes MMOG. NCsoft has a number of other projects in development, including ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2 and Carbine Studios' as-yet-unnamed MMOG.

NCsoft shut down its sci-fi MMOG Tabula Rasa in February, following the departure of lead designer and private space-exploration pioneer Richard Garriott in November 2008. Garriott sued NCsoft for $24 million in May, charging the publisher with breach of contract and fraud over his ousting.

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