Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Lay-offs at WotC

News broke that Wizards of the Coast, the Hasbro subsidiary that produces Dungeons and Dragons, made some significant layoffs today. Affected people include:

Randy Buehler (VP of digital gaming)
Andrew Finch (director of digital games)
Stacy Longstreet (senior art director)
Julia Martin (editor)
William Meyers (creative manager, digital design)
Dave Noonan (game designer)
Jennifer Paige (online community manager)
Jennifer Powers (marketing)
Jonathan Tweet (game designer)

A lot of info can be found here, including remarks by Dave Noonan.

As usual when something like this occurs, there are those prophesying doom and gloom and those readying torches and pitchforks.

While I don't have any inside info, my guesses would be along the following:

DDI and WotC's whole digital initiative is taking too long and to much resources to become productive.

The gaming industry as a whole is suffering. I overheard it at GenCon. How well does D&D and its ilk compete for the attention (and dollars) of the ADD generation, especially against video and computer games?

Finally, it's the economy. A lot of people are losing jobs, and a lot more will as companies find they have less money to work with both as credit dries up and consumers get more conservative.

But I really feel sorry for the folks that lost their jobs, especially three weeks before Christmas.

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