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Mythic's Jacobs Discusses QA, Customer Service Staff Cuts

Mythic Entertainment’s Mark Jacobs says the rumors are true: The Warhammer Online developer has indeed laid off a number of developers, though he maintains the staff cuts are natural for a post-launch period and "in line" with Electronic Arts' cost
Mythic Entertainment’s Mark Jacobs has confirmed a number of layoffs at the Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning developer, in new comments aimed at quieting consumer concern over the title’s future. Writing on the official website’s "Warhammer Herald", Jacobs addressed widespread rumors that the company was planning to lay off a number of extra staff –- including some high-profile senior developers. The new rumors followed unconfirmed reports that the company was laying off half its QA team and 21 customer service employees. In his comments, Jacobs admitted that the company is "resizing the team" as the game moves away from its delicate launch period. WAR debuted in most regions in September 2008. "Since the launch last year, the demand for customer service has gone down as players become more familiar with the game," Jacobs said. "Obviously, demand for a large QA and play-testing staff also falls after launch." Mythic parent Electronic Arts is currently implementing a global workforce reduction aimed at reducing its operating costs, and with its third quarter financial results, revealed that the scope of these plans is now up to 11 percent of staff, or 1,100 employees. Mythic's staff reduction is "in line with the company-wide initiative," Jacobs said. "In no way does this conflict with our commitment to customer service," Jacobs continued. "Staffing numbers will always map to consumer needs -– it goes up when we launch new products and expand popular ones, and comes back down as players become familiar with the game." WAR shipped 1.5 million units to retail in its first week -- and in that launch week, attracted 500,000 registrants, Mythic has said. EA recently revealed, however, that WAR now has 300,000 paying subscribers. "Although we now have fewer developers on the game than we did leading up to the launch, WAR still has a larger dev team today than we ever had for Dark Age of Camelot," Jacobs concluded. "At Mythic, we’re committed to maintaining the trust of WAR players –- we’re going to deliver the content and service that keeps you playing."

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