WildStar Developer Shutting Down, 50 People Losing Jobs - Report

The studio also suffered significant layoffs in 2016.

32 Comments

Carbine Studios, the developer of the MMO WildStar and founded by former Blizzard employees, is shutting down. The game is also coming to an end.

Studio owner NCSoft confirmed the closure in a statement to Kotaku. "Today, we are closing Carbine Studios and will begin the process of winding WildStar down to ultimately shutter the game," the company said.

Refunds will be available for in-game purchases. Additionally, NCSoft said it's "in the process of identifying the teams that will be doing the work to bring WildStar to a close."

"These decisions are very difficult to make and we are in the midst of shifting as many of our teammates as possible into other roles within the organisation," NCSoft said.

According to Kotaku, 50 people are losing their jobs as part of Carbine's closure. The studio released its first game, WildStar, in 2014; it launched with a subscription model before switching to free-to-play as part of a major update in 2015. The studio was working on and hiring for "a number of exciting new projects," but it appears that's all over now.

In 2016, Carbine suffered substantial layoffs due in part to WildStar's performance in the market. Additionally, the game's launch in China was canceled. Carbine said PS4 and Xbox One versions of WildStar were possible, but they never happened.

GameSpot has contacted NCSoft in an attempt to get more details about this situation; keep checking back for more.

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Narraxiss

It aint over yet! We got a petition with almost 1000 supporters, sign it and make some noise! https://www.change.org/p/ncsoft-wildstar-s-revival

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thomaswmak

never even heard of it.

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Barighm

They should try and rejig it into a singleplayer or small team co-op RPG.

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attirex

No Man's WildStar

Avatar image for csward
csward

I tried Wildstar at launch and I didn't care for the tone of the game. I thought the tone/theme of the writing was strange considering the cartoony visuals. The combat was okay, but nothing special. There wan't enough to keep me coming back and I quit this one earlier than other MMOs I've played.

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Megawizard

@csward: Pretty much same here. I had played during beta and knew from the get-go something just seemed off with it.

Avatar image for Elranzer
Elranzer

MMO is the one genre that there can only be so many entries. People just can't commit to more than one or two of these types of games at once. And the market is pretty much dominated by WoW and Final Fantasy XIV.

Elder Scrolls Online and DC Universe Online own the free-to-play MMO market, and have unique play styles that keep them alive. EVE Online is of course its own thing as well.

I have a feeling that Rift and then Star Wars: The Old Republic might be next to go dark.

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Mogan

@Elranzer: I figured SWTOR was on the way out too, but they actually just announced plans talking about the next couple YEARS. So I guess it's not quiet time for maintenance mode after all.

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mari3k

Didnt like if from the start...

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uchihasilver

I enjoyed wild star until NCSofts awful security mean my account was hacked after 3 weeks -_- and it took them 2 and a half to respond and didn't reimburse the time I had left

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midknyghte

@uchihasilver: I was on the other end of that spectrum. Moved overseas and they flat-out blocked my account and after spending months trying to get it cleared up they finally just told me to go away. When you turn away people who want to spend money on your product, failure is imminent.

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RELeon

I actually enjoyed Wildstar for the most part. Didn't care much for the old school 40 man raids and terrible end game loot system. But I thought the game was relatively fun up to that point. Too bad it didn't succeed.

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Warlord_Irochi

That's sad. Best of luck for the affected in finding a new place to work.

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ratchet200

Man that sucks for the people losing their jobs. Hope they are able to find new ones!

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Thanatos2k

Honestly, I forgot that game even existed. Another studio killing failed MMO on the pile.

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cboye18

So why has this game failed? For trying to be WoW? If so, how the hell did ESO, SWTOR and FFXIV survive?

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Xero_Kaiser

@cboye18: I don’t really think that WildStar was trying to imitate WoW. They didn’t have much in common besides being MMOs

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oromashu

@cboye18: it was trying to be WoW but took the bad parts of WoW and implemented into the game. the stuff like a tedious way to get atunement for raids, the large raid sizes which made it difficult to get full teams. this was stuff WoW did away with years ago and for the better.

but to be real for a moment, ESO, SWTOR, and FFXIV have something in common. they're based on a big franchise that already has a huge audience. Wildstar was a new IP so it was a much riskier venture which didn't pay off. if an MMO isn't bad like the original ff14, an MMO can sustain itself if the IP is huge. pokemon, mario, zelda, if there was an mmo for those games they'd also compete with WoW pretty well.

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Ohaidere

@cboye18: FFXIV is the only particularly good game in the series since 12. Seriously, the 2 expansion stories were pretty well done, and it's a fairly epic game as far as presentation.

ESO is a bit of a mixed bag, but it's the least linear mainstream MMO on the market right now, and it's come a very long way since launch. Sometimes reminds me of EQ2 for some reason.

Haven't played TOR since launch, so I can't comment on that. I've considered giving it a run before they shutter it, but if they don't launch a new expansion for me to join during I probably won't bother.

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Thanatos2k

@cboye18: FF14 survived by not trying to be WoW. The others purely on their brand names.

It's debatable that TOR has survived. I think EA thinks they'd be admitting defeat to their Disney overlords if they shut it down and jeapordize that despicable exclusive license.

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gamingdevil800

@Thanatos2k: SWTOR does pretty well when an expansion releases but they haven't released an expansion since 2016... I play it for the story solo.

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Mogan

@gamingdevil800: They've confermed a 6.0 update, and I thiiink they're talking about a new expansion as well, but I'm not sure if that's confirmed yet or not. It'd be 2019 for sure if it happens.

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gamingdevil800

@Mogan: Yeah I think 6.0 is the start of the new expansion was supposed to be sometime at the end of this year. Honestly no idea now though.

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SinisterSlay

@cboye18: My guess is for trying to be too hard core. Or the optimization issues from the open beta were still there. I don't know for sure if they were ever patched.

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Paulf001

@cboye18: WoW has like good bosses and raids, FF14 has pretty graphics and you can play dress up with your cute cat or lizard girl.

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jyml8582

@cboye18: for ESO and SWTOR it's the lore that's sustaining the game. For FFXIV, probably the graphics and the over the top skill special effects, and the epic music that makes players feel like action heroes.

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Xylymphydyte

Games as a service! Amirite guys?!

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Mogan

@Xylymphydyte: It works when the game can retain players. Not so much when it can't.

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Warlord_Irochi

@Xylymphydyte: Wildstar is an MMO that follows the classic model, not a GAAS one...

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Mogan

@Warlord_Irochi: Trying to be sub only is one of the things that really hurt Wildstar. : \

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Warlord_Irochi

@Mogan: Yup. That market model is not very viable right now.

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watercrack445

Wow. They failed at every turn.