A representative from Trion Worlds has confirmed for Gamasutra that it has laid off yet more of its workforce following on the release of Defiance.
The statement from Trion reads in full:
To best position Trion in a rapidly changing industry, we have reorganized our teams and are expanding our free to play offering. With Defiance, we delivered a great game that more than one million gamers registered to play and continue to enjoy. As we progress from launch to ongoing development of the game, we are adjusting our staffing levels to deliver new content and improved features. RIFT, and our other titles in development, were unaffected by these changes. We are very much looking forward to the free to play release of RIFT and are excited by the other new titles currently in development.
A trusted source close to Trion has informed Gamasutra that the layoffs are sweeping and may affect as much as half of the company. Teams in Austin, Redwood Shores and San Diego are said to be dramatically affected, with the Defiance team in San Diego reportedly "obliterated."
IGN has reported that employees are being escorted from the building and senior team leaders will be denied severance pay. A Trion representative has disputed both claims.
Trion already let go of around 40 workers from its RIFT development team in December of last year.
We will bring you more as the situation develops. If you have been affected by these layoffs, we encourage you to reach out to Gamasutra by contacting us at [email protected] All confidentiality will be upheld.
UPDATED: Scott Hartsman, who served as executive producer on RIFT prior to his departure in January of this year, commented on the layoffs in a public status update on Facebook:
Same as last time - If I can help at all with intros/anything, please find me. This model of game making is so fundamentally broken.