NCsoft's move today to a single new label for their studios marks more than just a shift in management teams and consolidation of subsidiaries. It's also the first step in the company's decision to refocus their efforts on large, triple-A massively multiplayer games, David Reid, NC West president of publishing told Kotaku today.
"This transition is really about ratifying a completely dedicated business to the triple-A titles", Reid said. "We would consider ourselves in the class of five-ish companies in the world that can be successful in this market. We are a leader here and we are doubling down in those efforts".
"If you are successful in this business, you are fabulously successful".
In so doing, NCsoft plans to shed some of their lighter fare, including "moving away from" Dungeon Runners, Reid said. He declined to say if that meant killing the free-to-play, humorous online game, saying only that there were no announcements about the game at this point.
Reid says that another important step in the company's strategy is their deal with Sony to create several online games for the Playstation 3.
"You can expect us to be a big player in the console space", he said, pointing to Electronic Arts' successful transition from a PC-only game publisher to a cross-platform company.
The move to Seattle itself, though, will have little impact on the day-to-day operations of the company and its subsidiaries, Reid said.
A total of 12 of the 250 to 260 positions in Austin are being cut to prepare for the move. NCsoft will continue to have a sizable presence in Austin, Reid said.
In Europe, he said, there are 58 positions in product development that have been identified for possible cuts. The final decision about how many of those positions to cut has not yet been made. Reid said the cuts in Europe would come from an unannounced title and not affect any of the games the company has already announced they are working on.
No cuts are happening at ArenaNet and, contrary to earlier reports, Tabula Rasa will not be affected at all by the reorganisation or job cuts, Reid said.
Reid said the move to Seattle is to make it more effective for the company to work with publishers on the West Coast and easier for executives to travel between the U.S., Korea and the U.K.
"People who love these big scale MMOs should be thrilled to hear what we're talking about today", Reid said.