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Guild Wars creator leaves NCsoft West

Jeff Strain, founder of ArenaNet, departs company on "amicable terms"

Jeff Strain, a founder of Guild Wars developer ArenaNet who became a senior executive of NCsoft West in its reorganisation, has left the company, according to reports.

Strain's departure coincides with that of marketing man David Reid, although NCsoft has told MMORPG.com this was an "unrelated and separate event".

"Jeff Strain... has chosen to leave NCsoft under amicable terms and NCsoft wishes him the best in his new endeavour," said NCsoft West in a statement." This does not change our plans or negatively impact our upcoming launch of Aion... These changes do not influence any other teams, development schedules or other launches."

Strain became the president of product development at NCsoft West last year, when the Korean MMO company reorganised its North American and European operations. The move signalled a shift in power towards ArenaNet, whose Guild Wars had sold well for NCsoft, and away from Richard and Robert Garriott after the high-profile failure of Tabula Rasa.

Strain co-founded ArenaNet in 2000 after leaving Blizzard, where he'd been a programmer on Diablo II, StarCraft and Warcraft III, with fellow Blizzard alumni Mike O'Brien and Patrick Wyatt. The three went on to spearhead the development of Guild Wars.

O'Brien is still at ArenaNet, overseeing the development of Guild Wars 2, while Wyatt stays on as chief technology officer of NCsoft West.

Guild Wars 2 is still under wraps, but NCsoft West has its first game launch since reorganisation - the western version of Aion: The Tower of Eternity - next month.

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