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Rumor: Blizzard Lays Off Their Senior Level Designer On Titan [Up: Seemingly True]

Update:

His LinkedIn profile was updated, and it shows he stopped worked at Blizzard in November 2011:

LinkedIn said:
Director of Content Design
FireForge
Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Computer Games industry
March 2012 – Present (5 months) Orange County, CA USA

Senior Level Designer II
Blizzard Entertainment
Privately Held; 1001-5000 employees; Computer Games industry
October 2000 – November 2011 (11 years 2 months)
Source: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-staats/22/a05/967

---

The article says lays off, but the general phrasing makes it sounds more like he was fired.

Massively said:
Rumor: Senior Titan designer laid off by Blizzard
by Jef Reahard on Nov 7th 2011 4:15PM

The recent spate of MMO industry layoffs isn't discriminating in terms of company size if the latest rumors are true. We've just been informed that one of Blizzard's golden boys has been served his walking papers, joining hundreds of devs from the likes of NCsoft, GamersFirst, GameForge, and CCP in recent weeks.

John Staats, the senior level designer on Blizzard's secretive Titan project, has been let go, according to our tipster. Staats has been with the company for over a decade and is responsible for some of World of Warcraft's most celebrated content including all the raid dungeons, Blackrock Mountain and Booty Bay, and numerous other instanced dungeons.

Staats was also described by Jeff Kaplan as the "hero of the WoW dev team."
Source: http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/11/07/rumor-senior-titan-designer-laid-off-by-blizzard
 

Freyjadour

Member
Jul 10, 2008
7,031
0
0
Nirolak said:
Yeah, Jeff Kaplan is Tigole.
Been too long.

The only reason I held out hope for Titan was the strong talent that moved over to it. This is depressing.
 

Vano

Member
Dec 7, 2008
1,056
0
0
Panama
Yea, with his experience and time with Blizzard it make you wonder what happened(if true) to make them take that decision.
 

Arpeggio23

Member
Jul 13, 2010
418
0
0
I sincerely doubt that he was fired. Someone of that pedigree most likely quit on his own accord, and the terms of his departure were somehow lost in translation when making their way to the internet.
 

mik83kuu

Banned
Aug 22, 2010
1,697
0
0
Tampere, Finland
I really hope he finds a job @ Valve. My respect for Blizzard has gone down steadily over the past years and I wish some of their art staff moved to better pastures. Too bad Samwise won't ever leave, but I can wish can't I?
 

ape2man

Member
May 23, 2006
1,085
293
1,520
Why would you fire some like him?

  • Stealing
  • Speaking your mind to your ass of a boss
  • Being a ass to your boss
  • Not comming to work
  • Thats it i'm out of ideas.
  • Wait. Speaking your mind to you asshole boss
 

Gravijah

Member
Dec 7, 2008
39,071
1
765
Florida
ape2man said:
Why would you fire some like him?

  • Stealing
  • Speaking your mind to your ass of a boss
  • Being a ass to your boss
  • Not comming to work
  • Thats it i'm out of ideas.
  • Wait. Speaking your mind to you asshole boss

probably comming to work
 
Jun 1, 2011
22,350
2
0
ape2man said:
Why would you fire some like him?

  • Stealing
  • Speaking your mind to your ass of a boss
  • Being a ass to your boss
  • Not comming to work
  • Thats it i'm out of ideas.
  • Wait. Speaking your mind to you asshole boss

Sexual harass your boss.
 
Oct 11, 2009
14,406
0
0
The Netherlands
ape2man said:
Why would you fire some like him?

  • Stealing
  • Speaking your mind to your ass of a boss
  • Being a ass to your boss
  • Not comming to work
  • Thats it i'm out of ideas.
  • Wait. Speaking your mind to you asshole boss
And none of these things make sense .... :| as far as I know blizzard is an amazing place to work.
 

EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
Staff Member
May 30, 2004
28,662
71,597
2,475
He hasn't updated his Linkedin yet, if that's the case.
 

Dresden

Member
Feb 28, 2009
45,188
0
0
He probably just left because he wasn't happy with the direction Titan was going. /pure speculation

I don't like tigole bitties (hur hur) and kalgan sucks.
 

Rygar 8 Bit

Jaguar 64-bit
Feb 10, 2011
9,750
4
0
he must of fucked something up pretty bad might be why we havnt seen anything from titan in 3 years the guy deserves better though hope he finds work at another dev studio soon
 

Vanillalite

Ask me about the GAF Notebook
Apr 14, 2008
39,999
1
0
GA, USA
Acullis said:
Huh. That sucks. I'm really hoping Titan doesn't go the way of SC:Ghost.

Not even close. The two projects are on totally different levels. Titan is Blizzard's next big thing, and you can bet they do everything they can to get it up to "Blizzard" quality.
 

Jangocube

Banned
Sep 22, 2009
3,016
0
0
Blackrock Mountain AND Booty Bay? How dare they get rid of that guy!

That said, both are terribly designed, as far is pathing is concerned. Still love em though.
 
Dec 11, 2008
3,986
0
0
ape2man said:
Why would you fire some like him?

  • Stealing
  • Speaking your mind to your ass of a boss
  • Being a ass to your boss
  • Not comming to work
  • Thats it i'm out of ideas.
  • Wait. Speaking your mind to you asshole boss
Naming Booty Bay after his favorite porno movie.
 

Venfayth

Member
Apr 11, 2011
9,953
0
0
mik83kuu said:

Obviously this isn't personal, but tell me that after reading this page you wouldn't like to work there: http://www.jeffhui.net/blizzard-entertainment-benefits

(it seems like they officially removed the employee benefits page, but this is pretty close to accurate as far as i remember)


On Campus Benefits
Brand new and beautifully landscaped 240,000 square foot campus which provides 65 percent more space than our previous facilities
Subsidized employee cafeteria serving Starbucks-brewed coffee and gourmet foods
State-of-the-art gym with locker rooms and showers accessible 24/7
Sand volleyball court
Full-size and half-size basketball courts
Running and bike trail adjacent to campus
Car wash service
Laundry service
Multiple game rooms with console and classic arcade games
Company library of books and games
Convenient and secured parking with on-site 24/7 guard staff


Brettison said:
Not even close. The two projects are on totally different levels. Titan is Blizzard's next big thing, and you can bet they do everything they can to get it up to "Blizzard" quality.

The reason I said that is just because it's been under lock and key for such a long time, this is the first news we've heard related to it since what, the 2010 Blizzcon? It's just not good news, is all I'm saying.
 

davepoobond

you can't put a price on sparks
Apr 26, 2006
44,940
570
1,850
California
www.squackle.com
yeah, working at blizzard sounds pretty amazing, dont know why you would leave just because you disagree with the direction a game is going unless there were some other personnel issues going on
 

flyinpiranha

Member
Aug 25, 2009
11,261
0
0
Interesting. I wonder if it was just professional disagreement with other "powers that be" regarding the game he was working on or if this has been a long time coming.
 

Maddness

Member
Nov 8, 2009
1,927
2
765
San Antonio
I've heard from a few friends who've worked there and just in the industry that they're kind of underpaid there, especially if you're a newer employee. I'd love to work there myself, but the thought of being underpaid in California is scary.


Sad to hear he's parted ways with Blizzard. I'm curious to the terms though.
 

Kalnos

Banned
Dec 23, 2009
7,773
0
0
Yeah, it's awesome that they have a kickass office and stuff but that hardly defines what kind of work you actually have to do. Though given his position I'm guessing it was some sort of disagreement or falling out.
 

Venfayth

Member
Apr 11, 2011
9,953
0
0
Maddness said:
I've heard from a few friends who've worked there and just in the industry that they're kind of underpaid there, especially if you're a newer employee. I'd love to work there myself, but the thought of being underpaid in California is scary.


Sad to hear he's parted ways with Blizzard. I'm curious to the terms though.

That's really surprising o_O
 

PaleFolklore

Member
Nov 10, 2010
1,969
0
0
Sandusky, Ohio
I would love to know what happened to get him let go. From what I've read it seems like he is an extremely important part of the team. I wonder if it was some sort of creative difference.
 
Oct 11, 2009
14,406
0
0
The Netherlands
mik83kuu said:
From all the stories of the people that I talked to at gamescom in the last few years and the video's they release official and unofficial from the office.
They really are Valve like (maybe not 100%) but close to that level on treating people well at blizzard and making it a good and fun place to work.
With a LOT of creative freedom and almost no deadlines because they have all the time and money they need.
 

V_Arnold

Member
Dec 5, 2008
15,304
0
950
Hungary
Oh, we know live in an alternate universe where Blizzard is not a good place to work.

Yeah, I am sure. Dedicating your life to craft games that you are also actively enjoying and creating vivid, complex, yet delicate gameplay systems must SUCK SO HARD!

Really, creating the "next WoW" is really a horrible job, I must imagine.

Oh guys, at least wait for some comment from either side before we describe a hell at Blizzard's 24/7.
 

Maddness

Member
Nov 8, 2009
1,927
2
765
San Antonio
V_Arnold said:
Oh, we know live in an alternate universe where Blizzard is not a good place to work.

Yeah, I am sure. Dedicating your life to craft games that you are also actively enjoying and creating vivid, complex, yet delicate gameplay systems must SUCK SO HARD!

Really, creating the "next WoW" is really a horrible job, I must imagine.

Oh guys, at least wait for some comment from either side before we describe a hell at Blizzard's 24/7.


This guy doesn't make games for a living. That's for sure.
 

Kalnos

Banned
Dec 23, 2009
7,773
0
0
Maddness said:
This guy doesn't make games for a living. That's for sure.

Probably never even made software for a living. I don't doubt that it's an awesome job but denying the stress involved is ignorant.
 
Dec 1, 2004
26,790
1
0
South Carolina
www.neogaf.com
Freyjadour said:
Been too long.

The only reason I held out hope for Titan was the strong talent that moved over to it. This is depressing.

Forboding, more like it.

Blackrock Mountain AND Booty Bay? How dare they get rid of that guy!

That said, both are terribly designed, as far is pathing is concerned. Still love em though.

Note the two bolded parts.

I say they were designed very well for cross-faction fracases, even with all of my memories BB back in 2004 on a server HEAVILY Alliance favored being corpsefloping hither and yon to turn in the 3 or 4 quests I needed to cash in due to the place being cheek to jowl with bored 60 Rogues.

Hell, thinking back, BB reminds me of some FPS maps from back in the day with the vantage points and weaving pathways, not to mention the goblin "Christ the Redeemer" across the bay. Good stuff.
 
Apr 19, 2011
21,368
1
530
...all the raid dungeons? I'd say he's gotten better since AQ40.

Also, Blackrock Mountan != any of the dungeons therein. I have no complains about the inside of the mountain. It was fun climbing up and down the chains and little precipices to BRD/MC/BRS. BB can go die though, so hard to remember where certain NPCs are due to the layer-cake design of the buildings.
 

Freyjadour

Member
Jul 10, 2008
7,031
0
0
Gentleman Jack said:
...all the raid dungeons? I'd say he's gotten better since AQ40.

Also, Blackrock Mountan != any of the dungeons therein. I have no complains about the inside of the mountain. It was fun climbing up and down the chains and little precipices to BRD/MC/BRS. BB can go die though, so hard to remember where certain NPCs are due to the layer-cake design of the buildings.

He left before Wrath, I think, or thereabouts.

BWL was fantastic.

Also, that sort of thinking leads to cookie cutter bland ass towns.
 

Oni Link 666

Member
Jun 10, 2004
9,613
0
1,625
ape2man said:
Why would you fire some like him?

  • Stealing
  • Speaking your mind to your ass of a boss
  • Being a ass to your boss
  • Not comming to work
  • Thats it i'm out of ideas.
  • Wait. Speaking your mind to you asshole boss
  • Leaving a "trick" on Tigole's desk after not getting a treat on Halloween.
  • Punching Ghostcrawler after nerfing Paladins.
 

Emitan

Member
Jun 26, 2008
39,757
2
0
Titan is DOOOOOOOOOOMED

I have no idea who this guy is and don't play WoW, but I'm sad to see someone who's apparently very talented being let go.
 

carfo

Banned
Mar 27, 2009
9,295
1
0
Well Titan is not the same type of game WoW so many the job transition wasn't good for him.
 
Dec 1, 2004
26,790
1
0
South Carolina
www.neogaf.com
He left before Wrath, I think, or thereabouts.

BWL was fantastic.

Also, that sort of thinking leads to cookie cutter bland ass towns.

A-fucking-men, dude. Booty Bay had class and soul, that's why the guy above said he loved it, and me as well.

BWL was very good, and the perfect amount and seriousness to the trash. Good times.

Oni Link 666 said:
  • Punching Ghostcrawler

Shit, shoulda gotten a raise and another week's vacation for that. :p
 

Nemo

Will Eat Your Children
Sep 10, 2007
18,377
1
0
ape2man said:
Why would you fire some like him?

  • Stealing
  • Speaking your mind to your ass of a boss
  • Being a ass to your boss
  • Not comming to work
  • Thats it i'm out of ideas.
  • Wait. Speaking your mind to you asshole boss
Could also be that it was because the bosses didn't agree with what he did with the game