Red 5 Confirms Layoffs, Reorganization

Founded by World of Warcraft veterans in 2005, long-silent MMO developer Red 5 Studios today confirmed that it has been forced to lay off some of its staff.

The studio has been working on an unannounced massively multiplayer game, one that, judging by today's announcement, it still intends to release. Said the company:

Recently, the team formed around a new direction and took on additional investment from a strategic partner in the online games industry.

Red 5 remains committed to releasing a AAA quality, online title targeted for a worldwide release. The company has restructured the team in order to accomplish this goal. As part of the restructuring, some team members chose to part ways while others were let go. Red 5 has great respect for these departing team members and the contributions they have made.

The statement confirms at least some of the reports that have been floating around, with Kotaku noting the company was on the verge of closure before the new investor. The site adds that Red 5's headcount was reduced by around half--about 30 were let go, according to a Gamasutra source--and further claims that the studio will now focus on a project "aimed at the Chinese market" instead of its unannounced FPS MMO.

Update: Big Download has word from Red 5 that the company now has 35 team members and "plan to grow the team where necessary. Meanwhile, Kotaku has more unverified info from its source, pointing to The9 as the new investor.