Layoffs sweep SOE as it transitions to Daybreak

UPDATE The newly-independent Daybreak Game Company (formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment) has laid off a number of people after parting ways with long-time parent Sony earlier this month.

The newly-independent Daybreak Game Company (formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment) has laid off a number of people this week after parting ways with long-time parent Sony earlier this month.

It's yet unclear exactly how many developers have lost their jobs; many of those affected have taken to social media to share the news, including former SOE global community relations director Linda Carlson and former development director (and longtime Everquest frontman) David Georgeson.

When reached for comment, a studio representative confirmed the layoffs to Gamasutra and issued the following statement: 

"As part of a strategic decision to rationalize the business, Daybreak Game Company announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios. This alignment of resources better positions the newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and developments, including delivering on its legacy of making top online games and establishing a solid foundation for future multi-platform success. These reductions will not affect the operation of current games and the company will continue on its mission to partner with its player community to drive the future and push the boundaries of online gaming."

The studio is currently developing multiple titles, including Everquest Next and the zombie survival game H1Z1 (pictured). If you or someone you know was affected by this decision you can email Gamasutra to tell your story confidentially.

Update: A source close to the matter claims Daybreak parent Columbus Nova informed studio employees last week that mass layoffs were expected, but that game teams were "sacred" and cuts would come from divisions like QA and International Operations.

This source estimates that nearly 200 positions were cut, and suggests that the company may have lost up to 45 percent of its staff.

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