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Another layoffs at Turbine

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Cloud Imperium Games (makers of the upcoming "Star Citizen") are hiring for their Santa Monica, CA; Austin, TX; and Manchester, UK offices, in various positions. Link to their Careers page here: http://cloudimperiumgames.com/jobs

 

Not sure if any of the folks who were laid off might be interested in relocating, but CIG is an up-and-coming indie game company ran by the legendary Chris Roberts. I can think of worse places to work.

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It could be that salary was a consideration.

Salary. Looks like the most likely explanation.

 

I think you two hit the nail on the head.

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Don't be fooled, this is a layoff to insure that a reduced payroll can be fulfilled in the short term. That reduced payroll includes those who are making the decisions about payroll.

 

The mithril rule applies:

 

He who has the mithril makes the rules.

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Don't be fooled, this is a layoff to insure that a reduced payroll can be fulfilled in the short term. That reduced payroll includes those who are making the decisions about payroll.

The mithril rule applies:

He who has the mithril makes the rules.

So the only one who can save Turbine and LotRO is Fredelas. Noted. (Yes, I know Fred took a cut of those travel profits, don't think you can deceive me!)

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Here is the list I saw elsewhere, roughly matching yours:

There is a lot of experience shared by all those named above, and they won't be replaced easily, if they are ever replaced. It certainly sends a clear message about the future.

Its an exact match if you read the rest of the thread, I just didnt go back and edit my summary.

 

The mithril rule applies:

He who has the mithril makes the rules.

Now...if only I could funnel my free virtual mithril into actual profits spent on development I WANT.... (still sitting on 5k+ mithril from the conversion..)

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There's some great people at Turbine and they built something special (imho) and I'm sorry to hear it's apparently not going well. 

 

But: Some of them are now going to feel what my team went through when they played hardball with the European service contract and the F2P handover, I don't recall anyone in Turbine giving my guys and girls any sympathy or understanding when they lost their jobs. Not. One. Single, Word...

 

Business is war apparently, well guess what? You're fighting with yesterday's weapons and that traditionally doesn't go well...

 

(edited for grammar)

Not only that, I felt they were very rude about you guys kindly having fun and having some trolls in open play for us players. I think they were bang out of order making you guys go through the transition to F2P then pulling the rug. Much prefer Codies to Turbine peeps.

PJ

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RockX sets up an itemization scheme that scales through all levels of instances and raids, has decent itemization and at least some choice, plus has gear names that at least make sense.

 

Which apparently was a terrible thing, so they send in Verizal;

 

Who then redoes the entire itemization scheme, it doesn't scale through levels of instances and raids, has little to no choice, and has names that pretty much suck. Plus I'm pretty sure Verizal wasn't finished with the gear changeover yet.

 

Then both get laid off....

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hehe

 

I'm sure in the last 3 years the "corporatification" of Turbine has been pretty thorough.

 

Layoffs en masse can show a significant bump in bottom lines in a corporate web. On paper at least. Consider two scenarios:

 

scenerio 1

Company "Impeller" is independent and owns or leases an office facility. If the cost of that facility is $100,000 and they have $1,000 peeps, then the cost per resource is $100. They lay off half their force. Their facility cost is still $100,000 but now the per/resource cost is $200.

 

scenario 2

Company "Propeller" is a subsidiary of "Impeller" and exists solely to manage the facility. They have a set budget that requires $100,000 a year, and they charge "Impeller" a per/resource rate of $200. "Impeller" lays off half the staff, so they eliminate half their "rent" paid to "Propeller".

 

In the first scenario the main company company reduced payroll but nothing else. In the second scenario the main company reduced payroll and facility costs. Only the subsidiary shows a loss now, but that is manageable because the holding company which manages "Propeller" owns properties and can get capital, and when the dust settles they can restructure costs. "Impeller" however has made a larger dent in operating costs that they are responsible for. This is how hatchet men work; they enter the scene and take over, and start finding ways to shift costs and call them cuts. In the end the fate of the whole thing is already decided and their second phase is to implement a shut down plan, but they look like they really trimmed things and still the product is no longer profitable, so they have to make these tough choices. One of the most political of all corporate scrambles is trying to present the hatchet man with a plan to cut everything under you and leave yourself a little parachute and a good reference from a "mean scary no-nonsense takeover expert".

 

It wouldn't surprise me if a WB hatchet man had already quietly set up shop in an unused office at Turbine around Halloween and has pretty much dictated Kate's two letters (the producer's letter and the recent layoff press release).

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There's some great people at Turbine and they built something special (imho) and I'm sorry to hear it's apparently not going well. 

 

But: Some of them are now going to feel what my team went through when they played hardball with the European service contract and the F2P handover, I don't recall anyone in Turbine giving my guys and girls any sympathy or understanding when they lost their jobs. Not. One. Single, Word...

 

Business is war apparently, well guess what? You're fighting with yesterday's weapons and that traditionally doesn't go well...

 

(edited for grammar)

I'm old EU lifetimer and back in the day I really disliked CodeMaster service because of the constant lag despite having good ping. Start of the F2P was much smoother but these days the game lags like mad, sometimes to a point to being unplayable. It seems Turbine downgraded the servers or something like that.

 

What I must give you Codies props about is how you handled the Community. Your forums had much more freedom than Turbine forums and maybe that's the reason Turbine devs never read the EU forum because they didn't want to hear any negative feedback of their game.

 

In retrospect I would rather be Codemasters customer than Turbine customer because on CodeMasters forum we could actually say we are having lag and it's definitely a problem in your servers and not get infracted and banned for that.

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Cloud Imperium Games (makers of the upcoming "Star Citizen") are hiring for their Santa Monica, CA; Austin, TX; and Manchester, UK offices, in various positions. Link to their Careers page here: http://cloudimperiumgames.com/jobs

 

Not sure if any of the folks who were laid off might be interested in relocating, but CIG is an up-and-coming indie game company ran by the legendary Chris Roberts. I can think of worse places to work.

 

Nice one. I'm within commutable distance to Manchester, hopefully they have some IT related positions!

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Newly confirmed laid off: +Aubergine (Of the Bounder's Bounty events).. also some festival work, and interactions with Lalia's Market.

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Shit sucks. As a former Turbine dev (left a while ago) a lot of these people were my friends. Any blame you have for the direction of the game should go to the top of the food chain instead of them. 

 

Onwards to new things!

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Shit sucks. As a former Turbine dev (left a while ago) a lot of these people were my friends. Any blame you have for the direction of the game should go to the top of the food chain instead of them. 

 

Onwards to new things!

Can you tell us what your general role was? Content? Systems? UI? MTX?

I've always been of the opinion the problems were pretty high up the food-chain.

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Newly confirmed laid off: +Aubergine (Of the Bounder's Bounty events).. also some festival work, and interactions with Lalia's Market.

 

So Paiz toots on about "better festivals" in 2014, and then a festival dev gets the boot. Lalia's Market implemented to suck $ out of casuals, and then cosmetics-related devs get the boot. 

 

Seems the management doesn't even want to invest anymore into things whose explicit purpose is to bring in more $. Which gives a good indication that mithril coin spending at festivals and Lalia's Market is lower than expected. The more they monetize, the less they get in return. And the more players they lose.

 

Why pay devs to monetize more features when you can fire devs and see how long hands-free maintenance mode pays for itself?

 

I no longer believe this is management incompetence. It is a carefully designed and diligently executed marketing experiment.

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Newly confirmed laid off: +Aubergine (Of the Bounder's Bounty events).. also some festival work, and interactions with Lalia's Market.

Are more people being laid off today, or is this further conformation of who went yesterday?

I see Aubergine is at the bottom of that google list, is that google list still being updated?

thanks

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Can you tell us what your general role was? Content? Systems? UI? MTX?

I've always been of the opinion the problems were pretty high up the food-chain.

 

I was never part of the LOTRO team, but Turbine is like a big (incestuous, hilarious) family, so everyone knows everyone and everything. You just have to remember that decisions come from the top-down, and the rest of us just do our jobs to the best of our ability. Plus, Rick doesn't deserve the shit you give him. He has to deal with all of you plus his additional roles as PR, marketing, advising the devs to not do stupid things, advocate for players on the dev team - he plays an important role, so he has less patience for trolling.

 

To answer your unasked question, each person individually can be poor to amazing at their job, but the direction of the game really only comes down to a handful of people. And you guys already know the answer to who.

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Shit sucks. As a former Turbine dev (left a while ago) a lot of these people were my friends. Any blame you have for the direction of the game should go to the top of the food chain instead of them. 

 

Onwards to new things!

 

We all know that those responsible for the direction were the game's producer(s) and the WB executives. The devs worked hard given the age of the engine and the overall design philosophy.

 

Some of the content that the lotro devs produced stands there the best of anything that Blizzard, Arenanet, Trion, SoE etc have done - The Rift, Moria, Lothlorien, Angmar, Carn Dum just to name a few. 

 

You guys should hold your heads high and say with pride that despite WB, free to play etc we did a good job. 

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I was never part of the LOTRO team, but Turbine is like a big (incestuous, hilarious) family, so everyone knows everyone and everything. You just have to remember that decisions come from the top-down, and the rest of us just do our jobs to the best of our ability. Plus, Rick doesn't deserve the shit you give him. He has to deal with all of you plus his additional roles as PR, marketing, advising the devs to not do stupid things, advocate for players on the dev team - he plays an important role, so he has less patience for trolling.

 

To answer your unasked question, each person individually can be poor to amazing at their job, but the direction of the game really only comes down to a handful of people. And you guys already know the answer to who.

 

My best wishes in finding well paid interesting work. Hope you'll succeed in that.

 

 

Don't be fooled, this is a layoff to insure that a reduced payroll can be fulfilled in the short term. That reduced payroll includes those who are making the decisions about payroll.

Heh. Yeah, it usually goes like that.

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Plus, Rick doesn't deserve the shit you give him. He has to deal with all of you plus his additional roles as PR, marketing, advising the devs to not do stupid things, advocate for players on the dev team - he plays an important role, so he has less patience for trolling.

No. It's precisely because of his public role in PR/marketing that his willfully chosen and typed and published words on the forums cast an even more negative light on him and the company he represents than whatever modding decisions he's made. Such people are held to a different standard than devs who don't interact with the constituency, the customers who pay money. I've participated in many, many forums, and the best mods manage to retain a completely neutral verbal stance in all their writing--Rick is not one of those skilled people.

Whatever happened to Clover, Patience...

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No. It's precisely because of his public role in PR/marketing that his willfully chosen and typed and published words on the forums cast an even more negative light on him and the company he represents than whatever modding decisions he's made. Such people are held to a different standard than devs who don't interact with the constituency, the customers who pay money. I've participated in many, many forums, and the best mods manage to retain a completely neutral verbal stance in all their writing--Rick is not one of those skilled people.

Whatever happened to Clover, Patience...

 

Gone. Patience moved on, Clover was let go. 

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Shit sucks. As a former Turbine dev (left a while ago) a lot of these people were my friends. Any blame you have for the direction of the game should go to the top of the food chain instead of them. 

 

Onwards to new things!

Thanks for your responses here. I think you'll find, we do as you say.. place blame on management and assume the devs do the best they can do with the orders they're given.

Though regarding your statement about the Coummunity Manager, I believe Trilwych covered a lot of the rebuttal quite nicely (and that's not even touching things such as permanently modding one of his own council members, twice, after being instructed not to by a higher up.)

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I'll actually make a change to what I said: I'm sure it's very possible Sapience is a pleasant coworker and a nice guy in person. It would also not be surprising if a lot of his actions are dictated by orders from management. I still assert he's not the right person to manage a community forums as he does not appear to be able to act in an impartial and neutral manner or be respectful to members of the community who hold alternative viewpoints and express those respectfully.

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I was never part of the LOTRO team, but Turbine is like a big (incestuous, hilarious) family, so everyone knows everyone and everything. ..

 

To answer your unasked question, each person individually can be poor to amazing at their job, but the direction of the game really only comes down to a handful of people. And you guys already know the answer to who.

Can you talk about what teams do cross-over work, and which are dedicated? Like for example the MTX team might be shared between all 3 games, while each team has their own systems design. World-builders may be dedicated, while art (individual asset generation for inclusion in the world-building tools), is shared...

 

 

(Clover was let go during the last public round of layoffs with Orion.)

 

As information is still trickling in, I dont suppose you happen to know if any of the following survived (just based on personal contact) ? +xRaina, , +Applepie (Kehylr), or +JwB?

 

As for who to blame...I'm actually not sure we do in terms of how far up the ladder the problem is. There've been conflicting stories about some executive level encounters..

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Are more people being laid off today, or is this further conformation of who went yesterday?

I see Aubergine is at the bottom of that google list, is that google list still being updated?

thanks

The list.. (Which in my opinion should never have been linked to in a public article.) is still being updated to my surprise. These are all people who were let go recently. (Presumably yesterday, but I think the temp on the list may have been a bit earlier...)

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