Bellevue Online-Game Company ArenaNet Terminating 143 jobs

Layoffs are due to the cancellation of unannounced projects, company spokesman says

February 28, 2019By Bill Conroy


Online video-game company ArenaNet, based in Bellevue, is laying off 143 employees permanently starting March 1, according to a notice filed with the state of Washington under the federal WARN Act.

The company, launched in 2000, became a subsidiary of Seoul, South Korea-based NCSOFT in late 2002 and released its first online, multiplayer title, Guild Wars, in April 2005, according to its website.

We can confirm that due to the cancellation of unannounced projects, ArenaNet made staff reductions, Justin Fassino, spokesman for ArenaNet, says. This is part of a larger organizational restructuring within NCSOFT in the West, but the Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 game services will not be affected.

ArenaNet will continue to support Guild Wars 2 and develop great content for players. The studio will continue to operate out of Bellevue as part of the NCSOFT family.

The Bellevue facility is ArenaNets single studio location, Fassino adds. He declined to provide any information on how many employees would remain in the Bellevue studio after the layoffs announced in the WARN Act notice.

NSCOFT was started in 1997 and is one of the leading game publishers in the world, supporting multiplayer online games such as AION: Legions of War, Blade & Soul, Lineage II, as well as ArenaNets Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. In addition to the ArenaNet office in Bellevue and its headquarters in South Korea, the company has offices in Austin, Texas; Aliso Viejo and San Mateo, California; and the United Kingdom, according to the companys website.

We manage the portfolio, initiatives and game services across the Americas, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, NCSOFT states on its website. Together we operate many of the most successful and influential massively multiplayer online games in the industry, welcoming hundreds of millions of players daily into exciting living worlds.

The WARN Act requires employers with 100 or more workers to notify workers 60 days prior to any closure or layoffs. Companies also must provide written notice to the Washington Employment Security Department and the top elected official in the community where the layoff or closure is occurring.