Massively multiplayer game developer Sony Online Entertainment has laid off 35 employees, slightly more than 4 percent of its total full-time workforce, to "better align the company's resources" and "improve operational efficiency."
SOE is responsible for numerous live and upcoming MMOs, including the EverQuest series, DC Universe Online, Free Realms, and The Agency. In a statement released to the press today, the company said the layoffs will "better position SOE to deliver against its emphasis on developing games for a wider, more diverse audience and remaining a worldwide leader in online gaming."
This isn't the first round of job cuts to be publicly reported in the game industry in the last week. So far, Ready at Dawn Studios (God of War: Ghost of Sparta) laid off 13, Firaxis (Civilization V) laid off 20, and Rockstar San Diego (Red Dead Redemption) laid off an unspecified number of workers.
Sony Online is headquartered in San Diego (Free Realms), with subsidiary development studios in Austin (DC Universe Online), Denver (Legends of Norrath), Seattle (The Agency), and Tucson (PoxNora). The company gave no indication of which studios or departments were hit by the layoffs.
The company officially explained its layoffs with the following full statement: "In a move to better align the company's resources against areas of growth that meet consumer demand in today's online market as well as improve operational efficiency, Sony Online Entertainment has eliminated just over 4% of its full-time workforce, equaling 35 people. The changes will better position SOE to deliver against its emphasis on developing games for a wider, more diverse audience and remaining a worldwide leader in online gaming."