Last month, THQ gave Rise of Nations developer Big Huge Games a heads-up. The publisher said it was looking to sell its wholly owned subsidiary and would close up shop entirely if a buyer could not be found in short order.
While the studio remains open and part of the THQ family, the publisher today confirmed that a number of Big Huge employees have been laid off. The layoffs were originally reported by trade site Develop. That account cited an anonymous source as saying that "a huge amount of layoffs" had taken place.
"We continue to pursue a sale of Big Huge Games," a THQ representative told GameSpot. "Yesterday, some of the staff were notified that they were not going to be part of the future direction of the studio. We are not providing exact headcounts at this time."
Big Huge Games was founded in 2000 by a quartet of PC strategy-game developers whose credits included Alpha Centauri, Civilization, Civilization II, and Gettysburg. The developer is best known for its work on Rise of Nations and the fantasy follow-up Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends. More recently, the studio was responsible for the Xbox Live Arcade game Catan and has been developing an untitled role-playing game with Ken Rolston, lead designer on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. THQ acquired the company in January 2008.