Sony Online Entertainment is the latest company to join the series of layoffs hitting the games industry. The company confirmed to me this morning they are laying off a total of 35 employees.
The layoffs themselves do not appear to be targeted at a particular development team. Here's the company's full statement, provided to me just moments ago:
“In a move to better align the company’s resources against areas of growth that meet consumer demand in today’s online market as well as improve operational efficiency, Sony Online Entertainment has eliminated just over 4% of its full-time workforce, equaling 35 people. The changes will better position SOE to deliver against its emphasis on developing games for a wider, more diverse audience and remaining a worldwide leader in online gaming.”
The EverQuest publisher is gearing up for the fall launch of their long-in-development superhero MMO, DC Universe Online, being released on both PC and PlayStation 3. Response has also been positive for their upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars Adventures, modeled after the publisher's other successful free-to-play MMO Free Realms. Clone Wars Adventures is due to launch around the same time as the premiere of Cartoon Network's third season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
There have been several waves of layoffs in games recently, with Take-Two Interactive letting 20 employees go from Maryland-based Firaxis. The studio's Civilization V is due in September. Rockstar Games has also confirmed news of layoffs (reported to as high as 40 employees) at Rockstar San Diego, the developer behind May's extremely successful Red Dead Redemption.