Around 4% of its workforce was laid off by Sony Online last July. However, according to reports coming out; the company is still laying off its employees and at a faster rate too. George Broussard, the director of 3D Realms, was the first to report this news through his Twitter feed. He tweeted yesterday about the layoffs in SOE Seattle which could result in the Agency studio being closed. However, he reported again within a few hours, saying that the layoffs were not only limited to the Seattle shop, many other SOE studios will also be closed today and Denver was among them.
The representatives of Sony and Sony Computer Entertainment haven’t yet commented on the issue. Meanwhile, a gaming blog has claimed that a source from the company has said that three entire studios have been closed down by Sony Online Entertainment and in the process they have effectively laid off one third of its staff. The studios reported to have shut down are the branches of Sony in Denver, Tucson and Seattle. In addition to this, half of the staff of the Austin branch of SOE has also been laid off along with a sizable portion of the employees of the San Diego studio of Sony.
This news has been preceded by two major launches of SOE. DC Universe Online, the fastest selling game of the company, was released in January by the company after more than five years of development. In addition to that, Free Realms, a free to play online game, was launched earlier this week for the PlayStation 3. This is the third instance of a major layoff at SOE in the last three years. The company had earlier given the pink slip to its staffers in July 2009 and also last year.