It seems as though EVE Online developer CCP bit off a little more than it could chew when it decided to embark on simultaneous development of EVE expansions, the console-crossover EVE tie-in shooter Dust 514, and the new MMO World of Darkness. The company has stated that it has chosen to lay-off twenty-percent of its workforce, due to thinly-stretched resources and a desire to refocus more development attention on EVE.
"We have come to the conclusion that we are attempting too many things for a company our size," the developer admitted.
"Rather than allowing this to persist, we have made the decision to sharpen our focus. Sadly, this means reducing our staff," the company said in a press release. The company explains that the layoffs will predominantly affect the developer's Atlanta, Georgia offices, but that "select positions" in the Reykjavik, Iceland office will also be impacted.
Under the new initiative EVE Online--and the console shooter tie-in, Dust 514--will take priority. Development of World of Darkness will also continue, though its team will suffer the greatest reduction in resources. CCP notes that the decisions don't come lightly, and they'll be "making every effort within our means" to help those affected by the downsizing find new employment.
Despite the reduction in staff, CCP makes it clear that EVE Online fans need not be concerned. "Our subscriber numbers are higher today than they were a year ago. Unlike many other MMO's on the market, we have continued to grow year-on-year since launch in 2003," the developer states. "However, over the past two months, our subscribers have gone down from their peak this summer. We attribute this to our own mistakes and poor communications with our players. We are correcting that now."
CCP also explains that World of Darkness "lives on," but that its "revolutionary" concepts need some more development time "before dedicating the substantial resources required to bring this experience to market."
"While our decision to refocus is a solemn one, it will benefit our players through a renewed commitment to the EVE Universe and its fans," CCP concludes.
Player trials for the PSN-exclusive Dust 514 and a new as of yet unnamed EVE Online expansion "designed to return to the game's core values" are still planned to launch "in winter."