Sony Online Entertainment closes three game studios, fires 205 workers

Sony Online Entertainment closes three game studios, fires 205 workers  - 2011-04-01 02:05:17

The company has also cancelled the long-in-development MMO The Agency.

Confirming earlier rumors, Sony Online Entertainment has issued a statement announcing that its Denver, Tucson, and Seattle studios have been shut down, and that a substantial number of workers have been laid off. The MMO The Agency has also been cancelled, although SOE says that service will continue as normal for the rest of their online portfolio.

“As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions and close its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios," reads the statement. "As part of this restructuring, SOE is discontinuing production of The Agency so it can focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties, while also maintaining its current portfolio of online games. All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate concern.

"This strategic decision will have no impact on SOE's current portfolio of live games; additionally SOE will transition development efforts for the Denver and Tucson studios' suite of products to its San Diego headquarters. This strategic alignment of development resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online gaming and deliver on its promise of creating entertaining games for players of all ages, and servicing the 20 million players that visited SOE servers in just the past year."

 

SOE Denver had been entrusted with Magic the Gathering: Tactics, Free Realms and Star Wars Galaxies, while SOE Tucson was looking after PoxNora and SOE Seattle was working on the aforementioned The Agency. SOE’s Austin and San Diego studios were also affected by the “restructuring,” with some rumors claiming that as much as half the workforce at each studio was laid off. It's obviously terrible news for everyone affected, so here's hoping that people are able to make the best of a bad situation.

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Source: The Escapist and Hollywood Reporter