The lights are on
CCP Games, the developer and publisher of space MMORPG Eve Online and the upcoming PS3 tie-in Dust 514, has announced that it is laying off 20 percent of its global workforce and shifting development resources to better focus on launching Dust and creating Eve expansions. The World of Darkness MMO, announced some time ago but never shown, is not cancelled, but the number of staff working on its development has been greatly reduced.
Most of the layoffs are hitting CCP's Atlanta studio, which will also see teams "redeployed" from World of Darkness to supporting Dust 514's launch.
CCP insists that Eve's playerbase is in "good health," while admitting that subscriptions are down from their all-time peak two months ago (though still higher than they were this time last year). The company attributes the drop in subscribers to "our own mistakes and poor communications with our players." Eve's latest features, centered around allowing players to finally walk around their ships and see their characters, have been poorly received by the community due to the fact that this long-promised addition to the game doesn't affect the gameplay at all. Well, that and the company is selling cosmetic monocles for $70.
CCP obviously hopes that this "realignment" will let it dig itself out of the hole it finds itself in with regard to the Eve playerbase. My initial reaction (after feeling awful for those who have lost their jobs) is that it's a good idea. CCP admits that it is stretched too thin right now, and while laying off a bunch of people doesn't seem like an ideal move, focusing on the products it has out right now sounds like a step in the right direction.