The development studio behind WildStar is closings its doors. Carbine Studios and WildStar are being shut down by publisher NCSoft. Along with the shuttering of their games, 50 people will be losing their jobs due to the closure.
As reported on by Kotaku, the Carbine Studios staff was told of the closure today. The studio’s owner, Korean publisher NCSoft, had shot down at least two pitches from the studio after WildStar‘s release. Carbine Studios had been hiring for an Unreal Engine product in April 2017, although no news of the developer’s other projects has come out.
Carbine Studios was founded in 2005 by veteran developers from Blizzard Entertainment. Studio founders were key members of the teams behind World of Warcraft, Diablo II, and Starcraft. NCSoft acquired the developers in 2007, several years before the reveal of WildStar in 2011. The massively multiplayer online game launched in June 2014 as a subscription-based title, but went free-to-play a little over a year later in September 2015.
NCSoft announced that any in-game purchases made after July 1, 2018 will be refunded for WildStar players. Refunds will be available until the game’s payment system is shut off, but no further details were given. WildStar‘s servers will go offline at an unspecified date.
Our 2014 review of WildStar was positive. The title’s action-oriented combat, great movement and the amount of content available earned it well-earned praise. The game restructured how it made money after going free-to-play, with in-game purchases and some DLC content behind paywalls. The game never reached the popularity of other massively multiplayer titles like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV.
The studio faced heavy layoffs in early 2016 when NCSoft reorganized the studio. At the time, more than 70 employees were laid off. Carbine Studios was developing a Chinese version of the game at the time, but cancelled the project after the layoffs.