ArenaNet co-founder Jeff Strain, a key figure in the creation of Guild Wars
, has left NCsoft, where he served as president of product development since the formation of NCsoft West
NCsoft confirmed the departure
in a statement to website MMORPG.com. "NCsoft West announces the departure of Jeff Strain, President of Product Development, who has chosen to leave NCsoft under amicable terms and NCsoft wishes him the best in his new endeavor," the company says.
"This does not change our plans or negatively impact our upcoming launch of Aion
, and NCsoft remains very excited about the game’s launch on September 22nd in the U.S. and September 25th in Europe. These changes do not influence any other teams, development schedules or other launches."
Another simultaneous departure, that of publishing president David Reid, is "unrelated and separate," says the company.
"David joined NCsoft in early 2008 as vice president of marketing and helped in the formation of NCsoft West and the relocation of our headquarters to Seattle," the statement continues. "David brought passion and talent to our organization, and he will be missed."
NCsoft also says that organizational changes are "inevitable" as it's continuing to work on expanding its global business beyond the publisher's Korea roots.
Strain established ArenaNet in in 2000, and the studio was acquired by NCsoft in 2002. Prior to ArenaNet, Strain worked with Blizzard as World of Warcraft
's lead programmer, and also contributed to the development of Diablo