Development and support staff from True Studios, developer of free-to-play MMO Faxion Online
, were laid off last week as UTV Ignition continues to stray away from internal development.
Don Choi, VP of UTV Ignition's online division, confirmed the news to Gamasutra this morning, saying that a "fraction" of the True Studios staff had been laid off.
According to one of the affected employees, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the situation, that "fraction" actually represented the majority of the employees at the Austin-based True Games studio.
In addition to the development staff, our source tells us the platform team, the customer service division and all but one of the quality assurance staff was let go.The game's studio in China will "be closing in the next couple of weeks," our source reports.
According to Choi, Faxion Online
"will continue to run and be updated frequently," despite the layoffs (Choi did not comment on the potential closure in China when asked). Additionally, he says the studio's multi-platform Planet Crashers
remains in development.
"Their severance was a joke," our source tells us, saying that the layoffs demonstrate UTV Ignition's "clear and demonstrated inability to focus, plan or execute on many levels."
UTV Ignition has been cutting its internal development as part of a shift that sees it becoming a pure publisher, with the most recent layoffs
hitting an Austin-based console team working on pre-production for an unannounced title.