Announced today, another MMO developer takes a cut.
Turbine announced layoffs in the QA and Accounting areas of their offices. This is almost along the lines of the Funcom layoffs.
I am assured that most could see this as an issue with the recession, and this could be possible. Yet, with the recent launch of the expansion pack, sales should have been brisk, especially so late in the year.
Add to this a steady player base, it is unclear why they felt the need to do this before Christmas even.
As noted by the Turbine rep.
"As part of this transition some of our talented colleagues will not be with us going forward."
But, as another commenter noted...
"is it not counter-productive to sack your talented colleagues in order to achieve your strategic goals?"
Again, this takes me back to the SOE argument. Turbine, don't you have a dead weight MMO sitting around to shut down instead, and put your 100% focus into the one which IS doing ok?
This begs the question of what happened with the recent influx of cash Turbine received. Where did this money go? What exactly is a private company doing? The worst part is their privacy, as no one really knows what is going on behind closed doors. This can lead to frustration on a perspective customers part if they believe (based on what type of impression this layoff gives) the company may not be around for long.
We know why Funcom did their layoffs. AoC really messed them up. Yet, they only laid off their American brethren, while the European offices are doing fine.
This is quite odd at this point, and I question their motives, and of course we must ask the question "Are the games really not doing that well"? It has been noted over and over that Turbine is profitable. If so, why these layoffs?
This is really sad for the genre as a whole, and hopefully the economy starts a turn around. Otherwise, the only MMO choice will end up being WoW.