Daybreak Game Company, the studio formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment, will be laying off employees at its Austin and San Diego offices.
"As part of a strategic decision to rationalize the business, Daybreak Game Company announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios," a spokesperson told Kotaku. "This alignment of resources better positions the newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and developments, including delivering on its legacy of making top online games and establishing a solid foundation for future multi-platform success."
One of the employees being laid off is Dave Georgeson. Georgeson, the producer of the original PlanetSide from 2002 to 2004, was most recently director of development across the EverQuest franchise. His responsibilities included legacy games EverQuest and EverQuest 2, sandbox building game EverQuest Next Landmark and next-gen MMO EverQuest Next. He confirmed his departure from Daybreak over Twitter this afternoon:
"I have been released from the best and most challenging job I have ever had. I thank you all for being part of that incredible experience. Too many people to thank personally, but know that I am extraordinarily grateful and very curious where life takes me now," Carlson said on Facebook (via MassivelyOP).
It's unclear how many staff members are being laid off in total. PlanetSide 2 creative director Matt Higby said over Twitter that the company was "losing a lot of talented, hard working, irreplaceable people."
According to Kotaku's report, the layoffs weren't much of a surprise. Employee were told immediately after SOE's acquisition by investment firm Columbus Nova that the company would be shedding staff to become "profitable." It seems they weren't told who was or wasn't staying with Daybreak until today, though.
Daybreak's games also include MMO shooter PlanetSide 2 and zombie survival game H1Z1. Both are currently available on PC but the studio plans to bring them to PS4 as well. Now that they're not owned by Sony anymore, Daybreak has indicated that Xbox and mobile games are also a possibility.
Today's statement from the company insists that the staff reductions "will not affect the operation of current games." It's hard to imagine development on games not being affected at all by layoffs, particularly when you're letting senior staffers go. Daybreak has a very full dance card, even without adding more platforms for their current projects.
Regardless of how these layoffs affect the future development of Daybreak's games, president John Smedley summed up the current situation pretty well: