Civilization V dev sheds 20 staffers

Take-Two confirms layoffs at Sid Meier-led Firaxis studio but says upcoming strategy game, Civilization Network, not impacted.

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Take-Two Interactive initiated a company-wide reorganization in February, but the publisher was adamant in saying that its efforts would not result in headcount reductions at its stable of studios. Unfortunately, layoffs have come anyway for at least one of Take-Two's developers, as the publisher confirmed for GameSpot today that it has reduced headcount at Sid Meier's Firaxis studio by about 20 staffers.

Firaxis continues to build away on Civilization V.
Firaxis continues to build away on Civilization V.

"I can confirm that Firaxis has realigned its development resources in order to streamline its development process, reduce costs, and maximize the overall performance of the studio," Take-Two global PR director Markus Wilding said in a statement. "This will result in the elimination of approximately 20 positions."

Acquired by Take-Two in 2005, Firaxis is perhaps best known for its turn-based strategy franchise Civilization. The studio's most recent installment, Civilization V, is slated to arrive for the PC on September 21. Already the game has garnered positive buzz, having picked up two nominations from the E3 Game Critics Awards and winning Best Strategy Game at the show.

Firaxis will also be bringing the Civilization franchise to Facebook in 2010. A multiplayer-centric installment, the Civilization Network sees Facebook friends sharing technology and coordinating strategy in battles. Players' friends will be able to participate in elections and help decide resource management, as well as assist in espionage or the construction of Wonders of the World.

As part of Take-Two's statement today, the publisher affirmed that neither project will be impeded by the recent round of layoffs. "These reductions will not impact Firaxis' ability to create and deliver AAA titles, including its forthcoming Sid Meier's Civilization V and Sid Meier's Civilization Network for Facebook," Wilding said.

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