Last week, Guild Wars developer ArenaNet informed employees that organisation-wide cost cutting would result in a number of layoffs. Now, it has been confirmed that 143 employees have lost their job at its Bellevue headquarters, which is over 35% of its estimated total staff.
A spokesperson originally confirmed to GameDaily that “a number of staff at ArenaNet were affected as part of NCSOFT’s on-going restructuring of its development and publishing business in the west, However, we don’t comment on specific individuals or details of staff reductions.”
Companies that layoff more than 100 members of staff are required to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) act. ArenaNet filed its WARN notice with the state of Washington earlier this week, which revealed that 143 workers would be made redundant as of today, March 1st. Given that ArenaNet is estimated to have employed a total of 400 people, this is a significant reduction for the company.
Please, if you have a minute today, tweet some kind words at #Love4ArenaNet to make people feel loved, supported and heard in whatever they might be going through.
I’ll write recommendations and refer recruiters who have contacted me to my talented coworkers.
— Jennifer Scheurle (@Gaohmee) February 25, 2019
Lead Game Designer Jennifer Scheurle spoke of the “agonising” tension that employees felt during the deliberation period, while praising ArenaNet’s human resources department for being forthcoming about the changes. “Remember that at every step of the way, there are people involved in this that have to go through gruelling processes. They have families and emotions and sadness and anger. Keeping room for all of it is a great way to support people now,” she continues.
The company issued a statement to the press, reassuring fans that the shift is “a part of a larger organizational restructuring within NCSoft in the west,” and that “Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 game services will not be affected, nor is any upcoming game content cancelled.” Despite this, Guild Wars 2’s upcoming world vs world mount Warclaw has been delayed until March 5th, although this could be for unrelated reasons.
KitGuru Says: It’s wonderful to see another hashtag in support of those affected, with many sending messages of appreciation via #Love4ArenaNet on Twitter. We hope that those who have lost their job find their feet soon.