Sierra shifts course

In the wake of the Dynamix closure, the Washington-based publisher announces a significant strategic reorganization.

Sierra On-Line, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal Publishing, today announced a strategic reorganization that is designed to improve its operating efficiency and more closely mirror the operations of Vivendi Universal's other studios, Blizzard Entertainment and Universal Interactive. The move will eliminate 148 positions in Sierra's Bellevue, Washington, office, in addition to the 97 eliminations announced yesterday with the closure of Dynamix, Sierra's Eugene, Oregon-based development studio that created the Tribes team-based action games.

"This reorganization creates a more efficient operating model," said Sierra president Michael Ryder. "It also allows Sierra to focus on what we do best--creating and growing some of the most successful and enduring brands in the business."

Under the reorganization, a number of the company functions will be consolidated and managed by Vivendi Universal. Sierra's development studio in Bellevue will handle the Tribes, SWAT, and Hoyle franchises. Massachusetts-based Papyrus will remain responsible for its popular NASCAR Racing series, and Impressions, also based in Massachusetts, will be responsible for the Ancient City Building series and Lords of the Realm.

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