NCsoft is to close its European development team just a year after its founding.
Develop understands that staff at the Brighton-based studio – which shares its offices with the NCsoft’s UK publishing, QA and MMO support teams – were notified on Monday night of the plans to shut the development studio. Up to 50 jobs are at risk.
The news comes following the cancellation of an unannounced MMO, very possibly one of NCsoft’s PS3 online games developed under an exclusivity deal with Sony – an agreement the NCsoft European Development team itself helped to broker.
We revealed the studio’s founding last year. The team was effectively an extension of the NCsoft QA and publishing teams founded in the British coastal city during July 2004.
Our sources point out that contrary to reports on consumer sites, NCsoft will not entirely close its UK offices and that those originally established publishing and customer service teams supporting its other MMOs will remain in place.
The firm has not responded to the invitation to offer a comment on the news, relayed to Develop by NCsoft staff, at the time of writing – although an official announcement is expected later today.
Develop also understands that NCsoft has also been signing up third-pary studios in the UK for development of non-traditional MMO fare, such as online multiplayer sports games – so it’s possible that NCsoft’s development activity in Europe may still exist, but in just an entirely external basis going forward.