Rumor: NCsoft to shutter Austin studio, reassign Tabula Rasa to Guild Wars dev


Hot on the heels of news that Midway would be laying off approximately 90 employees from its Austin location comes a tip from a reliable source that NCsoft Austin (a.k.a. NCsoft North America) is on the verge of eliminating all of its development staff. The studio is currently home to the teams behind Tabula Rasa and Dungeon Runners, the latter of which will "be closed," according to our source. We've been told that only customer support staff will continue to operate out of the branch.

Future development of Tabula Rasa will reportedly be handed over to Seattle-based Guild Wars creator Arena.net, with Massively reporting that the title may meet a similar fate as Dungeon Runners if it "fails to turn the tide of subscribers and expectations." It has also learned that any future collaboration between NCsoft and Tabula Rasa principals Richard and Robert Garriot will be "limited in scope," due to a souring of relations with the Korean management team over their title's lackluster performance.

With regard to City of Heroes, a source at NCsoft's Bay Area studio confirmed with us that its development staff will be completely unaffected by the events transpiring in Austin, saying that the title's status is "sound." Further to this, the source echoed Massively's report that only the Austin studio is being affected, with remaining development proceeding normally in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Korea.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.