Sony Online Entertainment is in the middle of developing massively multiplayer online role-playing game EverQuest Next, but it’ll have to do it with a bit less help. The publisher/developer confirmed that it laid off an undetermined amount of employees today.
In a tweet to his followers, SOE president John Smedley confirmed the layoffs:
sorry to say that we did have layoffs. We’re still moving forward with all our current games and games in development
— John Smedley (@j_smedley) August 28, 2013
“[That's] including EverQuest Next and other, unannounced titles,” Smedley wrote. “The people who got laid off are very good people. [I'm] very sorry this happened. Layoffs suck. These are really, really good people who don’t deserve this.”
When reached for comment, an SOE spokesperson wouldn’t comment on the specific of the layoffs but provided GamesBeat with the following statement:
As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios. This strategic alignment of resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online games, as well as to align development resources towards our current portfolio of MMOs and the highly-anticipated future installments of the EverQuest franchise, EverQuest Next Landmark and EverQuest Next.
Please note this strategic decision will have no impact on the development of our upcoming MMOs, including EverQuest Next Landmark and EverQuest Next.
SOE is best known for producing the original EverQuest MMORPG. It also developed EverQuest II, Star Wars Galaxies, and DC Universe Online. In recent years, the studio has failed to live up to the reputation it set with the first EverQuest, and it struggled to compete with Blizzard’s popular World of Warcraft.
The developer has recently created some buzz surrounding the new EverQuest games. The company gave the press a closer look at EverQuest Next, which is its next-gen MMO, and EverQuest Next Landmark, which is a Minecraft-like game where instead of building with blocks players can build beautiful buildings and more that may end up in EverQuest Next. Both games are expected in 2014.