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Mythic's Jacobs Discusses QA, Customer Service Staff Cuts
Mythic's Jacobs Discusses QA, Customer Service Staff Cuts
February 5, 2009 | By David Jenkins

February 5, 2009 | By David Jenkins

Mythic Entertainment’s Mark Jacobs has confirmed a number of layoffs at the Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning developer, in new comments aimed at quieting consumer concern over the title’s future.

Writing on the official website’s "Warhammer Herald", Jacobs addressed widespread rumors that the company was planning to lay off a number of extra staff –- including some high-profile senior developers.

The new rumors followed unconfirmed reports that the company was laying off half its QA team and 21 customer service employees. In his comments, Jacobs admitted that the company is "resizing the team" as the game moves away from its delicate launch period. WAR debuted in most regions in September 2008.

"Since the launch last year, the demand for customer service has gone down as players become more familiar with the game," Jacobs said. "Obviously, demand for a large QA and play-testing staff also falls after launch."

Mythic parent Electronic Arts is currently implementing a global workforce reduction aimed at reducing its operating costs, and with its third quarter financial results, revealed that the scope of these plans is now up to 11 percent of staff, or 1,100 employees. Mythic's staff reduction is "in line with the company-wide initiative," Jacobs said.

"In no way does this conflict with our commitment to customer service," Jacobs continued. "Staffing numbers will always map to consumer needs -– it goes up when we launch new products and expand popular ones, and comes back down as players become familiar with the game."

WAR shipped 1.5 million units to retail in its first week -- and in that launch week, attracted 500,000 registrants, Mythic has said. EA recently revealed, however, that WAR now has 300,000 paying subscribers.

"Although we now have fewer developers on the game than we did leading up to the launch, WAR still has a larger dev team today than we ever had for Dark Age of Camelot," Jacobs concluded.

"At Mythic, we’re committed to maintaining the trust of WAR players –- we’re going to deliver the content and service that keeps you playing."

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Damien Foletto
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It's not a rumor. A good friend of mine who was a programmer at Mythic was laid off yesterday, as were a lot of other programmers and designers. Huge bummer and I wish all who were and will be laid off good luck.

Josh Neff
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"Although we now have fewer developers on the game than we did leading up to the launch, WAR still has a larger dev team today than we ever had for Dark Age of Camelot"

That statement means nothing... especially since WAR is NOT DAoC....its like comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruit...that’s where the similarities end.

In the case of Mythic's DAoC vs. WAR... Both are MMOs...again, that’s where the similarities end. The same could be said for EA vs. Mythic.

I have no doubts in Mythic's people... I do however doubt EA's commitment to the WAR franchise. EA has a history of putting out games for a quick buck and then laying off the creators of the IP. This is exceptionally poor business practice as it will hurt them long-term.

There is a new study that indicates that employees that are well cared for (decent pay/benefits/work environment) have a higher overall morale which in turn dramatically increases efficiency of the company and overall quality of the product or service (surprise surprise)...which in turn generates higher profits for the company.

When EA can figure out that their employees are the gold of the company and not the cast off wrapper on the candy bar, then their products will improve and people will be more inclined to buy them.

Remove the human from the equation and the consumer backs away every time.

Ted Brown
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Sometimes I wonder if the term "hubris" ever floats around the offices there... or the phrase "pride before a fall". The pre-release swagger disgusted me, and I have a feeling the biggest culprit behind the hype is still at large. Naturally.

Danilo Buendia
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"he maintains the staff cuts are natural for a post-launch period and "in line" with Electronic Arts' cost cutting measures"

What can one say about this? It speaks for itself.