With a product out the door, it's pretty common to see staff leave development studios after the final push. What I was expecting however as that Gaffer, Carbine's President, to not only leave the company but also leave so soon after launch. If you follow WildStar, it's highly likely you know Gaffer well. He's very vocal and was very active in the community. It has been noticed however that Gaffer of late has been particularly inactive with the community and as it transpires, it's because he's been sorting his leaving out with NCSoft. In a very open post, Gaffer went into detail regarding his battle with illness and a need to get back on track with his family. He also candidly talks about how one less opinionated person in the office, at this stage in its life, will be a good thing. Who the new President will be, we don't yet know. But rest assured, a company as big as Carbine won't struggle to find someone willing to step into Gaffer's shoes.

Hey guys.  


I wanted to let you know that I’m stepping down as President of Carbine Studios. I’m not leaving entirely; I’ll be adopting more of a consulting role going forward with Carbine (and possibly elsewhere in the industry down the road).


This is not a bad thing. Some of our current development stars will be stepping up to lead WildStar forward while I can help work with them from the outside.


I have a personal “no bullshit” policy (which I think I’ve infused Carbine with as well), so let me give some context here without getting too personal. 


“Focusing on family” is most often, in my opinion, a horseshit excuse you hear from executive types (usually departing with a forcible shove). 


In my case, it is part of my reason for stepping down - through 2013, my wife and I lost six members of our families to various reasons – mostly cancer. I myself was diagnosed at the end of last year with a fatal-if-untreated form of skin cancer.  I had let it go untreated/undiagnosed for over 9 months while focusing on work instead. I dodged a bullet; surgery was successful and I’m cancer-free - but (if you ever go through anything similar you’ll know) that’s a hell of a wake-up call. 


I mention this now (I usually don’t talk about personal stuff, because who cares) to say: don’t be my brand of idiot, if you see an unusual mole or marking get it checked out ASAP; there’s worse stuff out there than what I had.


On the professional front, when you lead a team this size in a company this size, there are a variety of strong opinions on every major decision. It’s been a pleasure helping steer us through to launch, but I think having one less strong opinion in the mix can be a good thing too. Even if I’m always right, of course.


Anyways, all this culminates in a need to take some time off before leaping into the next set of adventures.  This has not been an easy decision for me to make, as I’ve pretty much poured my life into Carbine and WildStar. I’m proud of what we accomplished; we took a no-name IP to a big ass MMO launch, which ain’t easy in this day and age. There’s more work to do (the devs are indeed listening) but we have a great team to do it with as well.


I think it’s important that the folks here coordinate together around a single vision to move forward, and as part of that I’m looking forward to working with NCSOFT and Carbine in a very supportive role moving forward. I’ll likely not be as active in the forums and community as I have been in the past (some of y’all have noticed this already as I’ve worked here on my transition over the last months). But I’m far too passionate about you and WildStar to just get up and go entirely; while my role has changed, my voice hasn’t.


Thanks guys for your support and for being passionate WildStar fans – I remain one too.



It's interesting that comments are closed on the thread, but over on Reddit there's an outpouring of support for him. I really wish Gaffer the very bust of luck and I look forward to seeing where he crops up.

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Last Updated: Mar 18, 2016

About The Author

Lover of all things MOBA, Lewis splits his time between Heroes of the Storm, Battlerite, Crowfall and Conan Exiles.