Warhammer Online Subscribers Dwindle to 300,000 (Update: Rumors of New Mythic Layoffs)

By Nick Breckon, Feb 04, 2009 11:07am PST Update: Joystiq is now reporting that "several well-placed sources" have confirmed a new round of Mythic layoffs, on the order of 60-130 employees.

The story claims that the layoffs extend to the development staff, including senior designers. Shacknews has contacted Mythic owner Electronic Arts for comment.

Original story: Tucked away in yesterday's Electronic Arts conference was the news that Mythic's MMO Warhammer Online has seen its player base reduced to a lean 300,000 subscribers.

The number places Warhammer's base ahead of MMOs such as EverQuest II and Lord of the Rings Online, but far behind behemoths like Lineage and World of Warcraft.

Following Warhammer's September launch, developer Mythic had registered 750,000 players of the game. By early November, Electronic Arts was reporting that Warhammer had accumulated over 800,000 subscribers.

But even before the World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King launched in November, competitor Blizzard was reporting that up to 46% of Warcraft subscribers who had cancelled their subscription citing Warhammer had already returned. Lich King went on to break sales records, increasing Warcraft's stranglehold on the MMO genre to 11.5 million subscribers.

Though layoffs at Warhammer developer Mythic were rumored last month, the company has reassured fans that it will continue to support the game, announcing a series of updates that will roll out between March and June of this year.

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  • Re-ee-post

    Mythic layoffs bigger than originally thought? Including developers?

    http://www.massively.com/2009/02/04/rumors-abound-of-a-massive-layoff-at-mythic-entertainment/

    And semi-confirmation from Mark at Mythic in reply

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 2 replies.

    • Folks,

      Mythic has always been committed to maintaining a high level of development and customer service to our MMO players. In anticipation of rumors regarding staff reductions here at Mythic today, this seems like a good time to provide some insight into the future of development, customer service, quality assurance and play testing at Mythic. Though we are resizing the team to move from a pre-launch to a post-launch size, we remain fully committed to creating and delivering the best WAR experience.

      We have a very exciting schedule planned for new WAR content and that schedule is unchanged. Over the next few months, the announced "Call to Arms" live expansion events, new careers, new Tomb King themed area and RvR dungeon will be made available to our players as planned.

      With respect to customer service, quality assurance and play testing, prior to the launch of WAR, we hired additional people to deal with the rush of demand associated with an MMO launch and to insure the best possible experience for our players. We accomplished that goal and as a result we had the smoothest-ever launch of a major MMO. Since the launch last year, the demand for customer service has gone down as players become more familiar with the game. Obviously, demand for a large QA and play-testing staff also falls after launch. As a result, we saw a staff reduction which is in line with the company-wide initiative. In no way does this conflict with our commitment to customer service. 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.

      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. 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.

      Mark