SOE closes three studios, lays off 205 employees, cancels the Agency - live games unaffected


Rumors have been swirling about possible layoffs at all of SOE's studios. We contacted SOE directly to get the official word on what's happening, and it's a mix of good and bad news for gamers. Read on for the full report.

The big highlights:

  • SOE is closing it's Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios. 205 employees are being let go.
  • The remaining employees at those studios will be moved to San Diego to work on Planetside Next and an upcoming Everquest game.
  • The Agency has been canceled.
  • None of the layoffs affect live games--such as DCUO, EQ and SWG--most of which are maintained by the Austin studio.

SOE's full official statement:

"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."

We send our best wishes to those affected by the layoffs, and hope that they find new positions quickly.