Following this week’s layoffs at ArenaNet, Guild Wars 2 fans are understandably worried about the future of their favorite game. As is typical in situations like this, the studio has produced a reassuring response, though this one is at least a little more candid than usual about the recent news and how the development pipeline might be impacted.
Game Director Mike Zadorojny posted a message on the GW2 forums today, thanking fans for their support and re-iterating his team’s commitment to the future of Guild Wars 2. He stated that, while many “friends and colleagues” were no longer with the company, some that were working on “unannounced projects” have been brought back.
That future has already seen one delay, in the form of the Warclaw mount, which was originally announced as coming to the game Tuesday, Feb. 26, but has been pushed back. Zadorojny stated that ArenaNet will need to “re-evaluate our schedules to make sure that our releases are realistic and allow us the time to make sure they hit our internal quality bar.” As a result, more delays could be in the works.
Maybe it’s just that I’m used to the more stoic responses that companies usually issue in these cases, but the notion that ArenaNet is admitting that the layoffs could result in any kind of issues for the game, even if it’s just some slight delays, is refreshing. All too often, gamers are supposed to believe that that something along the lines of a 25% reduction in workforce will have absolutely zero effect on a company or its products. If that were the case, then they should have done it long ago, since all those people were obviously just dead weight — either that or the studio thinks that fans will buy into their reasoning that everything is totally fine and not have any cause for concern.
Zadorojny’s admission that “some updates are going to see delays” at least doesn’t treat players like complete chumps. We know, and he knows, that things will be more difficult going forward, and that things might be a little rough for a time. Better that than the “this is fine” dog sipping coffee as the house burns down all around him.