"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," the company said in a press statement yesterday.
With SOE Seattle closing, the studio's action-y espionage-themed MMORPG The Agency has also been cancelled. The Agency was to offer first-person shooter combat, casting players as a secret agent or mercenary on missions to infiltrate, sabotage and destroy no-goodniks' evil plans. It was announced way back in 2007 but was slated to finally launch in the second half of this year on PC and PlayStation 3.
It's not all bad news, though, as SOE says that cancelling The Agency will let it "focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties." PlanetSide Next and EverQuest Next are still mostly under wraps, with no solid word yet on exactly what they are or when they're expected.
Development of the Tuscon and Denver studios' games will be shifted to SOE's main offices in San Diego. SOE Tuscon developed the deck-building strategy game PoxNora, and its next project had not been publicly revealed. The Denver studio was responsible for Magic: The Gathering - Tactics and a number of other online card-based games.
SOE insists that the closures and layoffs "will have no impact on" its already-launched games. The company also says that "All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate concern."