Jobs gone from Ncsoft Europe

September 10th, 2008 | 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.

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Lepzig - Games Convention Podcast - Day 1

August 21st, 2008 | Category: Uncategorized

Well here it is (and chances are that if you have already subscribed to the NCsoft podcast, you have already listened to it at least once)

Link to podcast

This one answers questions on

1) Where did the NCsoft Europe crew get into the industry

2) Will Aion be released finished

3) How easy is it to get into the games industry if you go and do a “suitable” course for it (ie a Uni course)*

and more

Stay tuned for more wrap ups as the next one comes in.

And dont forget to stay up to date as well with the Vodcast as well.

Gangrel signing out.

(Damn i wish i was there right now)

*answer: Not easy… requires lots of hard work on your part.

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NCsoft at Leipzig 2006

August 20th, 2008 | Category: Uncategorized

Just a few links here incase you miss them.

Steven “Rockjaw” Reid (”le Rockjaw”, Mr Reid or BOSS! as you might also know him as) has a blog here, and has added a quite nice section to it specially dedicated to the Games Convention which you can find HERE!

There is also a video feed that will be updated on a (semi)regular basis… which i have placed just below (it will show the most recent video, or you can go to here and few all the ones that you have missed.

Wait… there is more (apparently)

The Official NCE International Podcast
Each day they will be hosting a live show in English from their stage, dedicated to all the international guests and the fans who couldn’t come to the show. Staff members from NCsoft Europe (and maybe some special surprise guests) will be on stage interviewing the guests, and answering questions from members of the audience. Questions and answers will be in English so that everyone from outside Germany will be able to understand them, too. (Of course every German speaker is also welcome at the stage. It’s a good chance to practice your English skills a bit.)

Best of all, every show will be recorded and the audio will make up a series of special podcasts, which will feed into the Official NCsoft Europe Podcast and let us take part in the excitement. Make sure that you don’t miss a single episode and subscribe to the podcast before the first day of the show.

The Official NCE ‘Vodcast’
Similar to the podcast they will also provide us with a ‘vodcast’ (or ‘video-podcast’) and show us video material recorded each day. See just what was going on (and what you might have missed) on our booth. Episodes will be available at the end of each day on blip.tv or via iTunes - just click here to subscribe.

Twitter-Feed
Those of us who are regularly visit the Community sections on the official websites of Aion: The Tower of Eternity might have noticed that each member of the community team has their own Twitter feed there. To get the most out of this feeds we can follow them using Twitter and receive updates (and send our own updates) with our mobile phone or reply/comment on their postings. (Ayase’s feed, Atreid’s feed, Amboss’ feed).

During the show they will support all three feeds. Become a follower, stay up to date (e.g. be informed about the schedule) and… win prizes!

That’s correct! They won’t be using Twitter to just inform us about what’s going on at the booth, they will also use it to let us win prizes if we follow them. For example, they might tell us that the first person who turns up to the stand and says the ‘Prize phrase’ that they only revealed on Twitter will win a t-shirt. So make sure we can follow the feeds when you’re in Leipzig. Either activate the mobile phone updates or maybe even let one of your friends at home follow it and then send you a notification. Some mobile phones let you read Twitter in a web browser or special applications (like Twitterrific for the iPhone and iPod touch) might make it even easier for you to follow the feeds.

While Twitter doesn’t charge you anything for receiving updates your mobile phone provider might charge you extra fees if you send a SMS to Twitter’s phone number to reply to a posting, or update your own status. So when you are in Germany you might have to send a SMS to Twitter’s UK phone number. Check with your provider, please.

And here’s a special bonus for everyone who has to stay at home and is worried about not being able to win a slot in the Aion Exclusive Preview at the show. While you will still get your chance to win at other events and eventually via a general sign-up process, if you follow our Twitter feeds during the show you can earn your slot then and take part when the preview starts in 2009 – it’s just as if you were there.

Twitter lets you reply to messages and this is what you have to do. Each day they will ask us a short question in each of the Twitter feeds (English, French and German) and telling us that if you reply to the message with the correct answer you can win your slot. They will then contact the winner via direct message in Twitter and ask for their email address to send them the notification later.

Important: You need to be a follower (create your own account, visit our feed and ‘become a follower’) to be able to receive direct messages from them.

There will be fifteen slots given away in total. One each day per Twitter feed and language. They’re rare, but we have a chance even if we are not at the show - go for it!

Please note: The slots are for the Exclusive Preview in Europe only. Please keep in mind that if you do not live in Europe your game experience might be different due to technical reasons. Watch the US Aion website for information about how to get slots for the Exclusive Preview in the US. For example if you attend the Penny Arcade Expo you can win slots for this preview there.

MMS
There are a lot of screens on their booth but none is as big as our main screen, right above the stage. They have set up an MMS system which will allow us and our friends to appear there and show everyone that we’re a fan of their products. Simply take a picture of yourself and maybe some of your friends on our stand and send an MMS message with the subject ‘Leipzig’ to ‘44444’. This is your chance to become a hero and immortalize yourself on their booth - ok, not quite… but it’s good fun! (who knows, you could even get something out of it)

Bluetooth extras
Activate any device which supports file transfer via Bluetooth (e.g. your mobile phone) and you will receive extra material when inside their Bluetooth network on our stand, including exclusive video content… you never know who might pop up on your phone!

Internet live stream from showfloor
You can keep up with the action by following their live streaming from the convention here. They won’t be streaming live all the time but if you miss a live segment you will be able to watch them recorded afterwards on the same site.

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