Sep 10

Jobs gone from Ncsoft Europe

Category: Uncategorized

Holy Cow…. what a turn up for the books here.

Yesterday one of the (UK) gaming industry websites, gamesindustry.biz posted up a nice “rumours” article saying that NCsoft were planning to trim its European office by about 50 people. And also closing down Tabula Rasa(Link to article)

Hmmm something sounds a bit strange here though…. sounds vagualy similar to the news reports a few months ago, concerning the Austin based studios of NCsoft, Destination Games and also NCsofts OWN studio). Destination Games got away with no losses at that point in time, although the Dungeon Runners team lost 13 out of their 18 members.

Soooooo, that brings us forward to this time, just around a month later.

We hear the rumours again… although on another side of the pond.

Hmmm. What is happening?
Is it true?
Is it a lie?
Is it just very bad journalism?

Well about all i can say is that there is SOME truth to the rumours.

People have been laid off, including long term employees for NCsoft Europe. Probably the largest one is the redundancy of Stephen “Rockjaw” Reid. Others that i will assume have been let go are Chris “Aero” Siddall and James “Spaff” Spafford. He was the leader of the Creative Concepts team, so when he went.. chances are the rest have been let go as well.

On top of that there is also the “reassignment” of Customer Support (only 7 positions available), the Developers team (which IF i remember correctly, also had an ex Community Person in (Bridger) ), and just a couple of of marketing and sales people.

Then there are the “potentially” redundant people as well.

Damn, its must be hard.

Right now I have soo many emotions running through my head (hey it happens sometimes, I do have a heart)….

Let me just run through from my VERY hazy memory how and when i met the “creative concepts” team.

Rockjaw
November 2005. Brighton. Cold, wet and a comic book convention. Well at least this was something new for me. Meeting for the first time MANY numerous people who i have spent hours talking to on the phone, seen on webcam, argued with/butted heads against on forums. Nothing stranger than having about 50 odd players (geeks maybe) waiting in a high class hotel for “Le Rockjaw” to appear. And then the pubcrawl starts.

And then the “invite only” staff party on the saturday night.

And a VERY nice interview with Rockjaw and Bridger talking about how they got into the industry and more (belive it or not, Rockjaw has done A LOT, including working for Sony).

Then there is all of the other stuff that he has done. Alot of work for “Draw The World Together” along with Andrew Wildman (original artist for Optimus Prime in the comics). Player meet ups, going to events… just generally being an “All round NICE GUY”.

Who also has his own blog. http://totheblogmobile.com I would generally say its not going to be TOO nice over there anytime soon.

James “Spaff” Spafford
Nutter. That is all I can say personally. The one guy (next to Kerensky) who i wanted to steal their “Auto Assault” shirt from… very nice with flames and more. Shame i havnt been able to “bug” you as much i would like to bug others.

Chris “Aero” Siddall
The “new boy” on the block. From what i can remember, he was a player who actually applied for NCsoft as an intern… and actually turned down the HIGHER paying job to work for Mr Reid. Also a pretty good Guitar Hero player from what I can tell, and a generally all round nice boy, who is willing to listen to people and work himself *almost* to death

Here is what Mr Reid says about his Creative team

Chris ‘Aero’ Siddall: Creative Concepts Assistant. Ex-player. Ex-intern. Composer. Podcast editor. Sits on my left.

James ‘Spaff’ Spafford: Creative Concepts… person (officially, Content Writer, but he admits it’s not very accurate for his wide range of duties…). Ex… erm… Content Writer. Ex-Auto Assault Community Coordinator. Gamer. Bon vivant. Sits behind me.”

Oh, and the Creative Concepts team also game up with and did the “Quest For GC” series of videos (GC Videos and other related stuff here)

Feck, now I don’t have the opportunity to watch more videos.

Ok, granted i can understand (within reason) the dismissal of several people… but when the NCsoft Europe team have been working hard to keep the players happy its even harder to do it. Especially when they worked so hard to bring the PLAYERS together. To allow the players to meet and mingle at official events.

Memorabilia in Birmingham, Bristol Comic Book Convention, the Omega Sektor Event to name just a few. Hell these guys would go out on their OWN spare time to attend events that YOU, the PLAYERS created. Either ingame or in the real world.

These weren’t just normal people, they worked above and beyond their call of duty (which granted is probably dictated by the work ethic of Stephen Reid as well).

To all those that have gone, I am willing to listen to you guys, and you can vent your frustrations here whenever you want.

If you need someone to talk to…. then you can always get in touch (ask people around in the office for my email and they will give it to you). Facebook is another way.

Anyway…

All the best, and i for one know that the loss of the creative concepts team will affect the community in more ways than one over the next coming months (less events for starters).

Gangrel signing out… kicking MSN into submission as it stopped working as soon as i started writing this blog.

1 Comment so far

  1. Gangrel September 10th, 2008 5:55 pm

    Strange me commenting to my own initial site, but again from gamesindustry.biz

    “NCsoft is expected to make an announcement shortly that it will be consolidating its European and US subsidiaries under one label, to be named NCsoft West, GamesIndustry.biz has learned.

    The company’s division in Austin, ArenaNet, is expected to face a number of job cuts, while the remaining staff will be relocated to Seattle.

    The MMO specialist, headquartered in Korea, has subsidiaries in the US, Japan, Taiwan, China, the UK and Thailand. “

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