Elder Scrolls Online Employee Layoffs: Developer ZeniMax Online Cuts Workforce, But Continues To Support Popular MMO

By Steve Buja , Updated Sep 03, 2014 01:51 PM EDT

Today, it was announced that ZeniMax Online, the developer of Elder Scrolls Online, the recently introduced MMO set in the Elder Scrolls universe, has laid off a number of employees.

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This is not all doom and gloom, according to Game Informer and Joystiq.

"As is the norm for games of this type, we had ramped up a large workforce to develop a game of vast scale, and ramped up our customer service to handle the expected questions and community needs of The Elder Scrolls Online at launch," Bethesda VP of PR and Marketing Pete Hines told Joystiq. "Now that we are nearly 6 months post launch, we have a thriving online community in a game that runs smoothly."

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The launch of any new property can be tumultuous; where before you had a few dozen people playtesting a product, suddenly you have close to a million actively engaged in. Problems and glitches previously unthought of will come to light, and quickly. A company needs to be prepared to address any early-stage glitches that may arise, which includes hiring additional tech and customer support.

Now that the game has stabilized, and is indeed rolling out a host of minor patches and updates regularly, the business side of the industry can reassert some control. Any necessary fixes have been managed and the phones and email lines are probably not ringing all night long.

Which is not to say that the blow doesn't hurt. We've seen a lot of studios recently suffer from layoffs and it stings, it does. I like to believe that we're all in this because we love video games and want to work with them on any level, be it development, support or media. ZeniMax employed, at one time, about 250 workers, plus an unknown number of partners aiding in the development of ESO and the world of Tamriel.

The hard work has paid off. Though no official number exists, it is posited that ESO has at least over 1 million active subscribers, with more being added every day. Which in such a market is no small feat. On the user side of things, ESO should hum along as smoothly as it has these last several months.

Hines added, "We remain strongly committed to The Elder Scrolls Online, and continue to invest heavily to develop new content for PC players, prepare the game for its console launch, and handle our planned expansion into important international territories. As for customer service, we continue to operate large support centers in Hunt Valley, MD and Galway, Ireland."

ZeniMax Online is a subsidiary of ZeniMax, which is currently developing the horror title The Evil Within and, through id Software, the upcoming fourth installment of DOOM.

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