SquareEnix laid off 10% of its workforce back in 2nd quarter of this year (ostensibly during XIV's peak dev period) for downsizing and "managerial conflicts."
About the same time, Wada posted on Twitter that the way to fix the company was to replace about 30% of employees with inexperienced recent graduates who are cheaper and less demanding. "Maybe replacing 30% of the company with folks in their early twenties will fix the remaining 70%."
A few days ago, JP Twitter started mentioning that SE is now calling the people they laid off -- especially client and server programmers -- and desperately trying to hire them back. ("Chinese fluency is a plus!")
Most seem to be telling them to go to ****.
As someone who knows the typical inside dramas of game companies. I read this as :
A lot of intelligent employees were calling out the BS decisions being made by the big-wigs of FFXIV. Unable to take criticism, the project leads (Tanaka, Wada or whoever) decided to terminate the experienced people that can spot stupid decisions, and hire a bunch of noobs that'll do what they're told without question.
Experienced "grunt work" level employees are never the ones responsible for a project's problems, because they're given no power over the project. They're also aware they're more 'disposable' and so have to be sure to stay competitive, effective, 'with the times', and beneficial to the project.
Projects that go bad are ALWAYS the fault of it's management level crew. After all that's what management's job is supposed to be, making sure things go right. When management crosses a certain line of ineptitude, the grunts will usually band together and try to force decisions for the good of the project. This usually ends up in management moving those people to a new project or layoffs, instead of accept there is a real problem to be addressed on the project. (aka: admit your mistakes and actually do your job or make way for someone that can).
To try and blame the grunts as this quote suggests, is such deep denial... No wonder the ex-employees aren't going back. Though the fact they are trying to rehire them also suggests the layoffs were a rash decision made in the heat of an insulted director's ego trip.
If Wada wants to invigorate the studio, the only way is to fire the aging leadership and replace them with the very people... that... they just fired. Oopsies.
So far the ones blamed for problems have been :
- The western media.
- The internet being 'mean' : Don't listen to them.
- The developments grunts (Who clearly did outstanding work for their part)
When all the while the true blame lies with themselves. Stop pointing fingers Wada/Tanaka/whoever keeps laying blame. It's all on your own back, you are more than likely the real problem and the one that needs to change or be replaced. But of course you know that, because the guilty are always keen to point the finger.
** This assessment is in assuming that the quoted report isn't flaming BS ** Edited, Oct 15th 2010 6:00am by RattyBatty