News today broke that Warner Bros. hit their development studio Turbine with a wave of layoffs. Turbine, the studio known for developing Lord of the Rings: Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online is facing "restructuring" despite the recent release of the LotR:O expansion Riders of Rohan on October 15. The studio employs more than 400 workers, but the extent of the layoffs is not yet clear.
In an email from Warner Bros. spokesperson Remi Sklar, the following statement was made:
"As part of the continual review of our business operations and fluctuating market conditions, we have had to make reductions in our Turbine workforce. The group continues to remain an integral part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment."
The layoffs come despite news that Turbine was hiring several industry veterans into upper management positions, including former Zynga manager Jay Singh. Turbine also hired an executive director of engineering and a VP of technology, which now appear to be coming at the expense of other employees, like community specialist Suzie Own, known as +Clover, who Massively found had been let go.
Lord of the Rings: Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online both reportedly found new livelihood after converting to free-to-play games. Myself, I found both games became unappetizing after the transition, as the sense of connection I had with the worlds was torn away by micro-transactions and cordoned off content.
We wish the best to all Turbine employees now looking for work, and hope they find new homes soon.