A round of layoffs hit ZeniMax Online Studios today, and there is an official statement about this on Joystiq saying this involved customer service representatives hired to support the launch of The Elder Scrolls Online who are no longer needed now that things are running smoothly. Polygon also heard from ZeniMax and paraphrases them as saying this also involved cuts in the area of "development" but that the team size has simply returned to pre-launch levels. This is not actually the case according to one of the developers who was fired, who shared details about the situation with us under the condition of anonymity (though we have confirmed his authenticity). Our source explains that approximately 20 of those cut today were not contractors or people hired temporarily to launch the game, but full-time developers who had expectations of continuing indefinitely. Most if not all of them have been working on The Elder Scrolls Online for at least two years, and were actively involved in developing expansion content and fixing bugs. The idea that customer service calls have slowed is disputed as well, and the conclusion he draws is that the game is not earning its keep, and that as some players are dropping their subscriptions ZeniMax is cutting staff to get costs under control. We have not yet heard back from ZeniMax after asking them to comment on this, and will follow up if they respond.
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