VU Games to lay off 89 workers in France

World of Warcraft publisher still hurting despite game's record-breaking popularity.

VU Games plans to cut 89 jobs in France, Reuters reported yesterday. Despite the popularity of World of Warcraft (WoW), VU Games has been losing money for Vivendi Universal. In fact, just six months ago VU Games cut 350 jobs in the US and another 29 in France.

Vivendi officials told French newspaper Les Echos yesterday that it created 100 jobs in 2004 for World of Warcraft and that it now plans to transfer 83 of those people to its studio in Coktel, France, which is then likely to be sold.

The company reported a 20 percent earnings drop in third quarter 2004, but that may turn around, because, along with the success of November's Half-Life 2, VUG-owned Blizzard Entertainment said yesterday that WoW has sold more than 600,000 units in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. The title tallied a record-breaking 200,000 simultaneous North American players over the holidays.

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