Sierra reorganizes its operations

Sierra will streamline its operations in order to focus on product development and brand management.

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Sierra On-Line, a division of Vivendi Universal Publishing, has announced that it plans to reorganize three key areas of its business operations in order to focus on product development and brand management. As part of its reorganization efforts, several key non-developmental functions within Sierra will be consolidated within Vivendi Universal Publishing, the Sierra Home division will concentrate solely on its print business, and key changes will be made to Sierra's internal and external development studios.

Specifically, Sierra's Dynamix studio will be closed and development on future products in its Tribes franchise will be moved to the company's Bellevue Studio. In addition to Tribes, the Bellevue, Washington studio will also be responsible for the SWAT and Hoyle franchises. Papyrus and Impressions will both remain as key development studios within the Sierra brand. Papyrus develops the company's NASCAR games, while Impressions has worked on such series as Lords of the Realm for the PC platform.

"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."

As a result of the reorganization, 97 positions will be eliminated at Dynamix and another 148 jobs will be made redundant within Sierra's Bellevue, Washington studio. "While any reorganization involving staff reductions is difficult, there is no doubt that this is the right thing to do for the business," said Ryder. "We are now in a strong position to forge ahead with our new and established franchises."

Going forward, Sierra's operations structure will more closely resemble that of the other Vivendi Universal Publishing studios, Blizzard Entertainment and Universal Interactive Studios.

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