We have some sad news to bring you.
NCSoft has confirmed that it is closing down Carbine Studios, and therefore support for WildStar will be coming to an end, leaving 50 people unemployed.
In a statement to Kotaku, NCSoft said:
“Today, we are closing Carbine Studios and will begin the process of winding WildStar down to ultimately shutter the game. WildStar players who have spent money within the game will be refunded purchases from July 1, 2018 until the payment system is shut off. We are also in the process of identifying the teams that will be doing the work to bring WildStar to a close. These decisions are very difficult to make and we are in the midst of shifting as many of our teammates as possible into other roles within the organization.”
Carbine Studios was founded by a number of ex-Blizzard employees and they instantly began working on their first game – WildStar. WildStar launched on PC in 2014 and was hyped as having the potential to be a “WoW beater” but, despite releasing to a warm reception, this has not proved to be the case. WildStar initially launched with a pay-monthly subscription model similar to that of World of Warcraft, this proved to be a mistake as the game suffered from poor player numbers, it therefore moved to a free-to-play model after just a year in an effort to attract new players – a decision which ultimately has bought it some extra life, but hasn’t done enough to keep its head above the water.
The MMO market is a very difficult market to crack, especially if you try to adopt a pay-monthly subscription model and go straight up against the behemoth of World of Warcraft. Moving to free-to-play was a wise idea, but it was possibly too little too late for WildStar, particularly when the likes of Guild Wars 2 were already massively established in that market. In terms of any MMO being a “WoW beater”, this is further proof that it is likely to be entirely up to Blizzard when it’s time for World of Warcraft to step down from the top of the pile.
The bigger picture here, of course, is that 50 people have lost their jobs. We here at BuffNerfRepeat wish them all the best for the future and hope that they find bigger and better things to pump their talent into.