Sony Online Entertainment confirms studio closures, cancels The Agency

SOE has confirmed that its Denver, Seattle and Tuscon studios are closing, 205 are laid off, and that The Agency has been cancelled.

8

Sony Online Entertainment has officially confirmed the reports that it's closing several studios, and also revealed that action-espionage MMORPG The Agency has been cancelled.

"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."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 1, 2011 6:10 AM

    Comment on Sony Online Entertainment confirms studio closures, cancels The Agency, by Alice O'Connor.

    • reply
      April 1, 2011 6:15 AM

      The Agency seemed like a bit of a non-starter even back when they were first showing it. The fact it went silent for over a year dosent make this much of a surprise.

      Planetside getting more resources? Yay!

      • reply
        April 1, 2011 8:21 AM

        Oh god... I could get so into Planetside 2 if they do that game right!!

        • reply
          April 1, 2011 10:54 AM

          The original was a blast until the population died and every battle became a 3way no one could win.

          • reply
            April 1, 2011 1:10 PM

            The population died because the introduced BFR's/Planets/Caverns and managed to drive away everyone who loved the gameplay it shipped with.

            This was basically the SWG NGE but a year earlier.

    • reply
      April 1, 2011 6:46 AM

      publicly announcing layoffs on april 1st. stay classy guys!

      • reply
        April 1, 2011 8:25 AM

        Technically announced yesterday, just confirmed today. Though I guess today probably is their last day. That just sucks... "Yeah, I got laid off on April 1st. Nice."

      • reply
        April 1, 2011 8:49 AM

        they announced it yesterday

    • reply
      April 1, 2011 7:37 AM

      Feel bad for those who sunk 4 years of their life into this project, only to see this. I don't know if it would have succeeded, but it should have been given the chance with a development cycle that long.

      • reply
        April 1, 2011 1:28 PM

        I would like to think if you're working on the same program for (4) years with no end in sight... you should probably be finding a job somewhere else, or you suck at your job and are just staying out of the line of fire until the whole building comes crumbling down.

    • reply
      April 1, 2011 11:04 AM

      This is awful, but how things are now a days. Hope for the best for these guys. The Agency really didn't look like it would of been a good game anyways.