Westwood cuts back

The Electronic Arts studio that created Emperor: Battle for Dune and Command & Conquer Renegade reduces its staff.

Westwood Studios, the Electronic Arts-owned game developer that created the popular Command & Conquer real-time strategy game series, has laid off some of its staff. According to an EA representative, the layoffs are part of the natural cycle of development, and the company may hire staff in the future when new projects are assigned. EA would not specify how many people were affected by the layoffs, saying only that it was a "relatively small number of Westwood employees." Sources close to the company estimate that the layoffs affected approximately 12 people.

The studio recently released three games--Command & Conquer Renegade for the PC and Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat for the Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox--and has cut back staff from a variety of functions and projects. No specific project was targeted, and the layoffs are not expected to have any affect on Earth and Beyond Online, Westwood's upcoming online role-playing game, or any other Westwood projects. All affected employees were offered severance and outplacement services.

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