Sony's MMO Makers Close Three Studios, Lay Off One-Third Of Workforce

Sony Online Entertainment, makers of D.C. Universe Online and Free Realms, closed three studios and will lay off nearly a third of its workforce, Kotaku has learned.

Word began spreading when George Broussard, best known as the co-creator of Duke Nukem Forever, tweeted earlier this evening that SOE was seeing layoffs and "studio closure is possible." Kotaku has confirmed through a source familiar with the matter that the closures affect SOE's studios in Seattle, Tucson, Ariz. and Denver. Half of the workforce at SOE offices in Austin, Texas were pink slipped along with a sizeable portion of San Diego. In sum, it accounts for nearly one-third of SOE's manpower before today.

Kotaku has reached out to Sony Online Entertainment for official comment. Any statement will be updated here.


Comments

    Ouch...that's all I can say.

    Are these the same studios making The Agency? Whatever happened to that? Seems to have dropped off the face of the earth...

      The Agency was planned for a 2011 release, nearing the end of the year.
      This may change things a bit, since you're right, it was the Seattle studio that was making the game.

      We'll just have to wait and see whether or not planned SOE games will continue, be cancelled or delayed.

    Played DCU Online for a month... it was... alright.

    But there were too many things that felt half arsed, most of which is the character editor, which has NOTHING on CoH.

    Consumers who have paid money and invested time in yet another Sony venture could be left in the lurch. Sony needs to be more forthcomming with information and willingness to open up SOE software to 3rd party servers so that customers are not hurt too badly by their decisions.

    Sony's track record shows that the company provides little or no notice to users of their plans to exit most propriatary standards, formats or service created by Sony - choosing to wait instead so as to extract the last penny possible before pulling the plug.

    Users of the UMD format no longer have access to any PSP games or Movies nore can they use their existing purchases in newer PSP-Go or other devices. MiniDisk users faced the same fate as did DAT users and people with AATRAC as well as Sony's online music services have all lost out. Sony recently removed the "other OS" feature in PS3 without warning or consultation sparking a significant backlash from the open source community.

    Consumer faith needs to be rebuilt and that means better communication and a more ethical level of compensation for those customers who have been disadvantaged.

    From playing DCUO I always got the feeling it was a game they had mostly finished, but intended to build over time. Like many in the industry, relying on updates to make a awesome game than shipping one. (e.g. more costume parts, more endgame content etc)

    When people were ho hum about the buggy game... well I guess that's what happens. Now it'll never be finished.

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