EVE Online maker CCP has announced it will be reducing its staff of over 600 by roughly 20 percent as part of a "realignment" away from long-in-development MMO World of Darkness.
The staff reductions will be concentrated primarily in CCP's Atlanta office, the company said in a statement, but some staff from the Reykjavik, Iceland headquarters will also be affected.
CCP says the move will lead to a "significantly reduced team" for the continuing development of World of Darkness, an MMO project based on White Wolf's pen-and-paper RPG that was first announced back in 2006.
The company will instead put increased focus on continued expansion for the highly popular EVE Online and its upcoming massively-multiplayer FPS spin-off Dust 514 on the PS3.
"We are very sad to lose some of our talented and dedicated colleagues to this necessary process," CCP said in a statement. "Decisions like these are difficult for all those involved and extraordinarily sad for all of those whose lives are affected."
"While our decision to refocus is a solemn one, it will benefit our players through a renewed commitment to the EVE universe and its fans," it continues.
CCP's announcement comes after the company faced sharp player criticism over the summer for the introduction of microtransaction-based vanity items and other features in EVE Online that seemed secondary to the game's traditional space-faring gameplay.
CCP has since apologized for what it calls "our own mistakes and poor communications with our players," which it says have led subscription levels to decline from record highs in the past two months.