Former Guild Wars 2 cinematic animator calls out NCsoft for withholding owed back pay

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After spending his days animating cinematic trailers for Guild Wars 2, Stephen Reid found himself without a job following the game’s closure. Despite working on numerous projects for NCsoft and making over $100k in cash flow annually, he was never paid what he felt was owed to him by the company. Now that he has been denied a court appeal (the last recourse), it seems as though Mr. Reid may take matters into his own hands again—whether or not you agree with how this is going down!


Apparently, NCSoft has a policy in place that withholds owed back pay even if an employee has the courtesy to put in a notice that they’re leaving their job. Da-Hee Im, a former cinematic animator for Guild Wars 2, called out NCsoft in two separate Twitter threads ahead of her final days with ArenaNet, which reportedly saw $400 worth of increased wages held back as a result of her formally putting in her notice to leave the studio.

NCsoft, according to Im, calculates wage increases late and on an annual basis, but the business just pays the difference retroactively. However, someone who resigns or gives notice between the date a pay raise should have occurred and the date a back payment is issued is not entitled to the delayed earnings. Im was expected to receive a raise on April 9th, but she officially quits on May 27th – the same day that back pay would be issued, which means she won’t get the full amount she earned.

Im asserts that this policy was not communicated to her nor was it in any employee handbook. “As far as I can tell, the policy was communicated via one bullet point on one slide in one presentation given only to managers,” she notes in the Twitter thread. “This is a stupid ass, self-sabotaging policy, because all it does is encourage people to not give the company, their manager, and their team any notice that they’re leaving. So, not only are people punished for NCSOFT’s own inability to meet their deadlines, they are ALSO punished for giving the company the courtesy of a heads up.”

As of yesterday, Im’s final day came and went, with not an owed cent to show for it, leaving her understandably bitter and hurt – and onlookers wondering about her legal recourse since this situation could be viewed as wage theft. “I will always, ALWAYS love my ANet coworkers, but I will also NEVER forget that I tried to be polite, play ball, and stick around until 5/27, only to get a wholly unnecessary knife in the back,” she opines. “I gave so much to this company. […] Four years of memories, ruined. For what?”

Well. It’s my last day at @ArenaNet

When I pictured this moment just a week ago, I could never have imagined how bitter & disrespected I’d feel. I still have so much love for ANet. But, man, has NC killed any desire for me to return.

4 years of memories were squandered. For what purpose?

— Da-Hee 🌼 다희 (@acute_bird) May 27, 2022


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