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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

September 10, 2008 at 10:33 PM

Korean game giant NCsoft opening Seattle HQ

In a good news, bad news move, Korean video-game giant NCsoft is laying off 12 people at its Austin, Texas games studio and 58 at another studio in Brighton, England.

But the company is simultaneously opening a new office in Seattle, where it’s basing a new subsidiary called NC West . It will be responsible for NCsoft operations in the U.S. and Europe. The office will be primarily a business office, managing publishing, from a city that’s more convenient to headquarters in Seoul.

NCsoft is a top developer of massively multiplayer online games such as its hit “Guild Wars” and “City of Heroes” franchises. It’s owned Bellevue-based ArenaNet since 2002.

Executives heading NC West all have connections to the area. Chief Executive Chris Chung spent five years at Microsoft. Others include ArenaNet founders Jeff Strain and Patrick Wyatt and David Reid, a former Xbox marketing director who joined NCsoft in March.

Still to be determined are the number of employees at NC West and an office location.

Texas is getting a few blows this week. Microsoft disclosed Tuesday that it’s closing Ensemble Studios, the Dallas-based developer of “Age of Empires” and “Halo Wars” it acquired in 2001. Ensemble employees plan to open a new studio that will get some work from Microsoft, though.

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