Amid layoffs, NCSoft invests $5M in Canadian mobile game startup

Long-time MMO publisher NCSoft is restructuring to focus more on mobile games, which has led to a number of layoffs and a $5M investment in Canadian mobile game startup This Game Studio.

South Korean game company NCSoft has gone ahead and backed This Game Studio, a new Vancouver-based mobile startup founded by ex-Kabam folks, to the tune of $5 million.

This falls in line with NCSoft's statements late last year that it was laying off staff as part of an ongoing restructuring effort geared towards focusing on "new business segments like mobile and tablet games," and GamesBeat reports that the company's mobile expansion won't stop with This Game Studio. 

"This is part of our desire to work with some of the best mobile game developers in the world,” NCSoft West exec Michael Chang told GamesBeat. “You will see us become more active on investments and acquisitions in the West."

While NCSoft has been active in the mobile game market for some time, it is best known in the West for operating MMO games like WildStar and Guild Wars 2.

The company seems to be paring down its Western MMO game operation expenses in favor of expanding into mobile; news broke yesterday that NCSoft laid off support staff in Austin in favor of outsourcing its customer support efforts.

For its part, This Game Studio still seems to be finding its stride -- the company is staffing up from its core of ex-Kabam (formerly Exploding Barrel) talent as it embarks on development on its first game.

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