[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a Trion Worlds representative confirmed the cuts as part of a company reorganization. Development on Rift and the studio's other games is unaffected moving forward.
The representative also pointed out that the 80 percent layoff figure is "definitely exaggerated."
"To best position Trion in a rapidly changing industry, we have reorganized our teams and are expanding our free to play offering," the Trion Worlds representative said. "With Defiance, we delivered a great game that more than one million gamers registered to play and continue to enjoy.
"As we progress from launch to ongoing development of the game, we are adjusting our staffing levels to deliver new content and improved features," the statement goes on. "Rift, and our other titles in development, were unaffected by these changes. We are very much looking forward to the free to play release of Rift and are excited by the other new titles currently in development."
The original story follows below
The bulk of the layoffs reportedly came at Trion Worlds' San Diego, California outfit, where Defiance is in development. A source added that senior leaders may not receive severance packages due to "undelivered services."
The layoff rumors come a week after SyFy ordered a second season of Defiance the TV show and Trion Worlds laid out extensive downloadable content plans for the game.
Defiance has more than 1 million registered players.
Trion Worlds also has US offices in Redwood Shores, California and Austin, Texas. In addition, the company operates a studio in London, England.
Trion Worlds could not be reached for comment at press time.
In addition to Defiance, Trion Worlds is currently developing End of Nations and fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game Rift, which will go free-to-play next month. The company is also co-developing Warface with Crytek.