Sony Entertainment Online finally confirms on both kotaku and joystiq that they have closed down three studios in Seattle, Denver and Tucson, laid off 205 people and cancels their highly delayed spy MMO, The Agency. According to the statement, this move was to streamline the company’s global workforce and to reduce cost.
The scrapping of the Agency on the other hand was made so that SOE can further develop two new MMOs based on their Planetside and Everquest titles while also maintaining their current game roster. SOE also reassures that this move would not affect their current live games (eg. DC Unverse Online et. al) and that the development oad of the Denver and Tucson studios will be relegated to the San Diego Headquarters of SOE.
Here’s the official announcement of SOE posted on Joystiq:
“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. 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.”