SOE sends 41 staff packing

DC Universe Online and Free Realms developer cuts 5 percent of workforce from payroll to "increase operational efficiency," cut costs.

Last month, Sony Online Entertainment boasted of a successful launch for its Free Realms massively multiplayer online role-playing game, which saw more than 3 million users sign up within its first seven weeks of release. That wasn't successful enough, apparently, as today the developer confirmed for GameSpot that it had instituted a round of layoffs.

SOE is currently working on a variety of games, perhaps none more anticipated than DC Universe Online.

"In a move to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs, Sony Online Entertainment has eliminated 5 percent of its full-time workforce, equaling 41 people," an SOE representative said. Last March, the formerly semi-independent MMOG-focused studio was folded into Sony Computer Entertainment, although it remains a distinct label.

In addition to Free Realms, Sony Online Entertainment operates the long-running EverQuest and EverQuest II MMO games. It also has a number of anticipated titles in the pipeline, including The Agency and DC Universe Online. When asked where the job cuts were made, an SOE representative declined to elaborate on the previously issued statement.

The gaming industry has seen several developers undergo staff cuts lately. Midway this week laid off its Chicago headquarters, shuttered its Newcastle studio completely, and gave its San Diego arm notice that it would be closed if a buyer for the studio wasn't found before September. Reports also emerged early this month that Damnation developer Blue Omega saw its entire development team eliminated.

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122 comments
skitchrick
skitchrick

I will NEVER buy anything from SOE ever again because of SWG!

KBFTodd
KBFTodd

Yea right, free realms if you don't want to do anything.....

Spikedjester
Spikedjester

IDC! I hate SOE for what they did to SWG. Soe tries to control everything and one of the worst companies to buy a game from, cause its gonna be crappy and bug filled and broken gameplay and no matter how many players will plee for them to fix it, they never will.

solidstein
solidstein

i thought the agency was being developed by rockstar and SoE was keeping there hands off and just publishing the game but i might be wrong i mean i know SoE can never keep there hands off i guess they still think EQ is the king of mmorpg and vangaurd could have been the next big thing but they released the game WAY to early and all the players left by the time the worked out all the kinks

poppen695
poppen695

I don't understand why they don't just fire the remaining staff of Star Wars Galaxies. It's not like those guys have done anything (productive) in years anyway. That would free up tons of wasted money they could use to ruin other online games.

damonkeypirate
damonkeypirate

Ya know i get how companies want to become more efficient, but wouldn't be even more efficient and better ethically NOT TO HIRE MORE EMPLOYEES THAN THEY NEED IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!...That is the main problem with most companies. They project only growth with little room for error and are nearly always met with disappointment. The CEOs or department heads over extend the resources they already have in a bad direction for the company and it ends up costing middle class workers their jobs. Yes, it is sad to see, but if more research was put into their business ventures this would happen less often and less publicly giving them better PR, more productivity (because the people actually with jobs wouldn't be in fear of losing it).

scarface_dm
scarface_dm

From last I heard The agency and DC Universe online had horrible controls and by the looks of this will contnue ?

chaisemon
chaisemon

41 people can start their own company isint it?? afterall they all know each other and am sure they have all the tools they need in their pc in home.. it wil b just like sucker punch company, in the end they released infamous.

slipknot611
slipknot611

I just really hope that this doesn't effect the quality and/or release of The Agency and DCU Online. Those both look like awesome games for the coming year, and I really hope SOE knows what they're doing when they're slicing and dicing. I know the economy sucks today and all, but think about the future, Sony!! Seriously feeling the pain of those folks they've sidelined, too...

Socomnewbie
Socomnewbie

Top company execs would never dare imagine taking a pay cut not in America!!! they prefer 1/2 the company get laid off than to even lose $1 from their six figure income. I would gladly praise any exec who would voluntarily take a pay cut to save a few jobs ....

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Makes sense. MMOs are rarely successful

nappan
nappan

Wow.. 41 whole people. Somehow this is unimpressive in light of the MILLIONS of lost jobs in the USA alone, never mind worldwide during this recession.

carbonic_acid
carbonic_acid

@chaisemon: I very much agree; even if the economy is bad, I don't know why companies and people in general seem to have forgotten the concepts of depromotion and simple WAGE DECREASES

metalkid9
metalkid9

@chaisemon, not in this economy

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

May as well get ready for more layoffs once they take Star Wars Galaxies of life support as well.,

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

They cut more of the bottomline sector, but yet I bet the CEOs and Vice Presidents of the companies have yet to take a pay cut.

chaisemon
chaisemon

41 people?? isint that a bit too many to get fired with no reason??? thres gotta b a reason!!! cudnt they hav just depromoted 82 staff rather than firing 41 all together!! poor guys! wait til they take revenge on sony.. lol.. ps. i want more games on my ps3 and quick.. so sony, hire em bac!

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

brendanhunt, stop spamming and condense your comments into one. You don't need four posts to play Sony Defense Force. This whole move is either a real financial need or just financial greed. After all, why keep staff on when the game is doing so well? You can cut all the people who aren't needed any more and save some cash. If it's the latter, it'll knock Sony down another peg on the respect meter.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

deathxxshark
deathxxshark

@ ruffryder377: More than half of those games are NOT 360 exclusives. They are going to the PC too...

ruffryder377
ruffryder377

@Airek49 Not unfortunate, because even if they go to PC, MS is still making $$$ off of them, which means more and better exclusives for 360/PC in the long run. That's an advantage if you ask me. Either way, those games probably aren't coming to PS3 or Nintendo.

wars45
wars45

well it happens in all line of work the ps3 have got a lot of exclusives comeing out over the next 2 years and a price cut is coming . so its not all bad

ghettalife
ghettalife

@ ghouston: What's Obama got to do with a Japanese company laying off workers? My neighbor hit and killed a deer with his car last night; guess that's Obama's fault too? Games site, not political site! Besides, both my 401K plans have been on the rise the past couple months so I'm quite "stimulated"!

Airek49
Airek49

@ruffryder377 Unfortunately for 360 owners, half of those will end up on PC.

ruffryder377
ruffryder377

@foeleaf You're going to cite a game that's not even out yet (Uncharted 2) as a reason why PS3 has better games? Who cares if it won a few E3 awards? Wait till the game comes out before you go raving about how good it is. And no, MS doesn't have a motion controller, because that concept is getting old and Nintendo already did it. Instead they have Project Natal, which actually looks promising. And here's that list of upcoming 360 exclusives you asked for: Splinter Cell Conviction Mass Effect 2 GTA IV: Ballad of Gay Tony Halo: ODST Shadow Complex Alan Wake New Gears 2 Campaign Halo: Reach Magna Carta 2 Forza Motorsport 3 Left 4 Dead 2 Venetica Champions Online Hero Crackdown 2 Turtles in Time: Reshelled 1 vs 100 There's probably more, but that's all I could think of for now. And next time, actually think or do some research before you post that fanboy drivel.

pablo091377
pablo091377

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ghouston
ghouston

But..but...Obama's ridiculous "stimulus" (union payoff) spending was supposed to stop this! It sucks for those folks temporarily but with their skills, they'll find another job quickly.

Nihmmoh
Nihmmoh

they have been taking FOREVER with the agency, and because of this loss, it will probably be delayed

TheHappyCamper
TheHappyCamper

Man, heres an article titles "SOE sends 41 staff packing", and its seems like 90% of the comments are why Sony is better than Microsoft. Or how Natal is going to crush MAG in sales. Are people so one track minded and stuck in their fanboyism that they cant take a moment to realize that 41 people who work and strive in the industry we all love just lost their jobs and have no source of income? Lets try to have a little respect.

dashizy666
dashizy666

Hey it's the times we live in join the club,. This should not reflect on the sony or any company I would say the same thing if it happened to MS. The only difference is that I would laugh if it were MS. in in any respect, this should be irrelivant to the so called console wars.

Raykuza
Raykuza

@SalarianChemist New job creation. It's brilliant. Hell, maybe I even can get a job in a Microsoft store. :x

Ronwern
Ronwern

@ Dogpigfish : You show the insight of a critical thinker and the compassion of a decent human being. If you are using this discussion as another battleground, to argue and toil over your investments, go find another place. To lose your job in an industry where its difficult to make a name for yourself must be very hard. I wish the best of luck to these 41 people.

snooker8th
snooker8th

so SOE is only cutting 5% of their staff, which is probably finished these productions anyway. no reason to turn it into some console war.. that is just stupid.

Perjury
Perjury

Everquest on Ps3.maybe?

TaMuK711
TaMuK711

I have little sympathy for anyone involved in the ruining of SWG.

spacer69
spacer69

I know the feeling and only hope some may find work.

3D3
3D3

I wish for the best for the people losing their jobs.

aniMAXXX
aniMAXXX

you mean like N.Kor^a? they resident pay taxes and their govt. doing nueclear testes -.-? lets leave other those for a while and see this... all BIG companies have their R&D dept to $$$ spend to research new break throughs like now OLED TVs seems more of main stream in R&D for consumer electronics i see.. Sony spent too much $$ on R&D Cell CPU and BluRay that are successful, but not many buying them for sony to recover their R&D cost+US market collapsed=Sony in big trouble.. and like since i am earning and spending my own $$ for games, ill take the most effective way to save and have fun then some fanboys using their parent money to "save sony"?..... sorry

swamptick
swamptick

Lol @ the continuing denial by some fans.

Gilgamesh987
Gilgamesh987

It's always sad to read that more and more people are losing jobs all over the country in all industries, but if it came down to me or a friend getting laid off, I would hope my friend gets cut. It's sad, but better you than me.

foeleaf
foeleaf

@Norwegicus.. so im guessing that u dont own a 360 or a ps3 and the only next gen games u play are the one that are only exclusive to pc/360 on pc b/c 360 offers a fee to play right??? @ruffryder377 Yea, its my fanboyism that made Uncharted 2 win so many awards at e3, that 360 didnt offer a motion controller when sony and nin do and will invest into motion controller games which the 360 cant play. Also, so ur telling me that RIGHT NOW, if we were to compare system which has the most exclusive games coming out of the two u could prove to me that 360 has more then the ps3??? Like i mentioned sony AND nin. are killing the market with exclusives (SOFTWARE)....PSP, PS3-WII, DS games....plz dont sond like a noob. And FYI, alot of those games are not new IPs only Multi-plat. PS, im still waiting for the list......

ruffryder377
ruffryder377

@foeleaf My goodness, your fanboyism is almost sickening. Sony isn't killing anything- they're in dead last. And attach rates would lead one to believe that 360 has more games that people want. I'm not saying this to put Sony down, just to make you realize how blind your fanboy eyes are. It's fine to like Sony, but at least be honest to yourself about the situation. 360 has tons of good games coming out this year, if you want to lie to yourself so you can stay reassured that you bought the better system go ahead, but keep that trash to yourself and off the boards.

Norwegicus
Norwegicus

SOE can go to hell for all i care. Damn blood suckers ruin every thing they touch.