Massively OP has been contacted by a Cryptic employee — who wishes to remain anonymous and whose identity we have confirmed — about the Perfect World/Cryptic layoffs yesterday that one former PWE staffer called a “slaughter.”
Our source tells us that 18 people were let go from Cryptic itself, approximately 14% of the studio. Half of those were Neverwinter staff, evening out the Neverwinter and Star Trek Online teams (we do know some STO staff, including former City of Heroes lead designer Matt Miller and the game’s community manager, were among those let go). The source believes the PWE Redwood Shores offices were hit significantly harder; our source reluctantly agreed that “yes, PWE is mostly to blame” for the debacle.
MMORPG fans will recall that Cryptic has pulled at least one developer from live projects to work on unannounced games. Those projects will continue: “The secret projects are unaffected,” says our source. “They’re a big focus for the company moving forward.”
Champions Online “is being left to chug along,” our source says. “It doesn’t take much to keep it afloat.” So there’s that.
“There’s an understandably somber attitude around here, but we’re trucking along,” our source concluded. “That’s to be expected when you’re pulled into an ‘impromptu company meeting’ by an email from the CEO the previous day.”
We’d like to thank our source for speaking with us and extend our sympathies to all of those affected by the layoffs. PWE has not yet responded to our requests, although we concede it’s possible that the standard PR rep is no longer with the company as of yesterday.
Normally these changes hit the marketing teams first and the hardest. What stands out in this round of cuts is that STO appears to have been left relatively unscathed, which may lead credence to Gecko’s comments that the game has been financially successful in recent months. The upcoming Delta Recruitment drive was most likely in the marketing pipeline already, but given the negative impact DR has had on the player community I have no doubt that some aspects have been sweetened to draw back former players.
It’s been an interesting day in #STO.