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Artists and designers have been let go for the MMORPG, Rift. Trion Worlds didn't actually announce the layoffs, it took a bit of investigating and legwork from Gamasutra, who found out from one of the departed that up to 40 artists and designers from the Rift team have been let go, just before Christmas, directly after the release of the latest expansion. That's almost some Scrooge-like pimping right there.

Gamasutra did some sleuth work to find out about the layoffs, but it took some prying to finally get word from Trion about the job departures, with the company sending out the proverbial corporate acknowledgment, saying that the layoffs were...
"in response to market conditions, product timelines and the natural evolution of our company,"

Rift was just on the receiving end of a new expansion, Storm Legion. It's not uncommon for layoffs to take place after large production cues wrap up on expansion packs or whatnot. Trion didn't specify the state of Rift, though, so there's no real telling if the game is doing well or not.

For now, a third of the Rift is out and about looking for some extra work. I'm curious how this news may affect the outlook people have on Rift and whether or not the doom and gloom talk will start the way it did with Secret World, which inevitably led to the game's slow-transition into turning free-to-play (although it's not quite there yet). Storm Legion, the recent expansion for Rift, is available right now for $49.99. Although, even if you buy it, it won't help the devs who were laid off.