UPDATED With PWE Response: Motiga's CEO Confirms Gigantic Developer's Shuttering
Update: Official word has come down from Perfect World Entertainment, which provided this statement to MMOBomb:
"Following the news that Motiga has reduced the staff of its studio, Perfect World Entertainment can confirm that as the publisher of Gigantic, the game will continue to be available on our platforms. A core team of developers remains at Motiga, who will work with us to support the game and its players, including moving full steam ahead with the upcoming November update and future content. We cannot thank everyone enough for their contributions in making Gigantic the outstanding experience it is today./p>
Perfect World Entertainment recently closed the Seattle office of Runic Games as part of the company’s continued strategy to focus on online games as a service. We’re grateful to the team for all of their hard work bringing incredible experiences like Torchlight, Torchlight II and Hob to life. Runic Games will remain a part of Perfect World Entertainment’s portfolio of studios, and its games will continue to be available to players, as we stay committed to supporting and growing Runic Games’ beloved franchises.
The staff reduction at Motiga and the closure of Runic Games Seattle were unrelated. Perfect World Entertainment stands committed to delivering the best massively multiplayer online gameplay experiences to our players."
When we asked for exact confirmation of Motiga's and Runic's fates, we received the additional confirmation:
We can confirm that the layoffs at Motiga and shutdown of Runic Seattle were separate incidents.
And PWE Tweeted out the following:
Perfect World is happy to continue support for Gigantic, working with a core team of Motiga devs on the November update and future content!
— Go Gigantic (@GoGigantic) November 3, 2017
Update: While there's no official word yet, Motiga CEO Chris Chung has confirmed to Destructoid that Motiga is being shut down and that Gigantic "will be left at the hands of a maintenance team." More ominously, he warns that Perfect World Entertainment might not be done making cuts -- which could bode poorly for fans of Cryptic Studios and Star Trek Online, Champions Online, and Neverwinter.
Chung's full statement:
All of Motiga was acquired by Perfect World last year. Perfect World decided to announce the arrangement as partnership by the directions from corporate for the reason we were not privy to.
Yes, [the closure] was the corporate decision. It was a budgetary decision at the highest level. Perfect World as a public company has a profitability goal and they decided to cut parts of the company that were not profitable. In short, Gigantic was not making enough revenue. Unfortunately, Motiga is not the only Perfect World studio being impacted by the decision.
Gigantic will be left at the hands of a maintenance team composed of few dedicated folks at Motiga. They are [an] awesome group of people that will be working on the game until some time in the future when it doesn't make sense anymore.
Thank you for the kind words. As someone that created Motiga from scratch, it's a sad day for me but I am proud of the team we built and the culture we established at Motiga. I was hugged by everyone today and you don't see that kind of reaction in most companies through an ordeal like this.
And a follow-up he sent to Destructoid later:
I made the previous statement at a vulnerable moment believing it was a response to a friendly concern. I may not have had all the facts surrounding what happened and I apologize for any error. Today was a tough day for all of us who have been part of this extraordinary journey. We wish the best for everyone that were impacted and we will do everything we can to help them find a new home.
Original story: It's late Thursday night and we're getting some not-so-good news out of Gigantic developer Motiga.
Here's a link to a Reddit thread titled "RIP Motiga :(" started by Audio Lead Dan Crislip, a.k.a., MO_Soundz. He links to his Twitter account, in which he writes, "Today marks the end of Motiga and my time with an absolutely amazing team."
While one might first infer that Crislip alone left Motiga, his further comments on Reddit seem to indicate something far greater:
Just to clarify. No, Gigantic isn't going to end anytime soon, I'd assume that Perfect World will take over. Yes, this is a tweet from a Motigan but no official word has been said, but I'd assume it's true. And finally, when I say "assume" I mean "yes this will happen/yes this is 100% true" so.
Elsewhere on Twitter, former Motiga employee Troy Hewitt offered his condolences to Motiga employees, saying that he's "Really sorry to hear about the latest trauma." Combined with Crislip's statements on Reddit, which include "Perfect World will be running the future of Gigantic," it would seem to indicate that multiple people have been let go by Motiga -- and that the game itself will be undergoing some changes in management.
It wouldn't be the first time -- or even the second -- that Motiga has faced layoffs. The developer went through some painful layoffs while Gigantic was still in development but seemed to have rebounded after working out an agreement with Perfect World Entertainment to publish the game. Now, less than four months after its official launch, the game and its developer may be facing further difficulties.
We'll add to this story as we learn more.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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