Thursday, September 20, 2012

Regarding NCSoft

I'm not likely to ever pay money to NCSoft (the maker of GW2) since on August 31st, with no warning to anyone, they fired the entire staff at Paragon Studios (developer for City of Heroes). 80+ people lost their job in San Francisco. At the same time, announced they were closing the payment services immediately and shutting the CoH servers down at the end of Nov.

City of Heroes was a steady and profitable game (it was a bit low on subscribers but netted $800k/month consistently the months leading up to and including August). They did this because they want to cut American and European assets and have plans to shutdown all American and European studios in the near future.

The developers were about to release a new update (it's on test server with at most 2 weeks left to fix bugs) and had the next 4 updates in the works. Absolutely NO warning to the developers, they came into work that Friday and before lunch found out they didn't have a job to go to the following Monday.

GW2 and Blade and Soul were the reasons for this. You can find corporate releases on how they lost millions in the development of those two games and they cut one that was profitable so they could dump the American game studio that develops it.

It's not a matter of money to them as the CoH community has come forth and pledged $250k that would be donated off-the-cuff to keep the game running without any idea of an amount needed to be raised.

The CoH community ALSO started a fundraiser to pay for lunch for ALL the employees at Paragon Studios to go to a favorite nearby restaurant. There was a $1000 cap on the fundraiser. It took less than 3 hours to raise $1045 and MOST of the community didn't get to donate due to being at work before the cap was reached. There is currently talk about running another $2000 cap fundraiser for the developers since so many of the community WANT to donate and the first fundraiser reached cap so quick.

I am a gamer and was interested in GW2, I've played a majority of NCSoft games, but when you want to dump 80+ Americans out of jobs in a barely recovering economy, you've lost my money for the rest of my life, and earned the right to have the above information given out to ANYONE that will read it.

I have restrained myself to posting just facts in this post, though I'm sure you can tell the ....frustration over this. Yes, I played City of Heroes for 8 years, since day 1. But the way they put those 80+ Americans out on the street with no warning whatsoever is infuriating. Sure, they should be able to find jobs to move on to, but if you are a coder, put yourself in their shoes. If even one of the employees has issues finding work, it could have been you if you were working there.

If you haven't paid for GW2, take all this information into consideration.

If you HAVE paid for GW2, make your own decision. I wouldn't want to encourage anyone to not get their moneys worth out of something you paid for, but have this information at hand if you ever consider putting out more money to an NCSoft-based game or service, and think it over.