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SOE Hit With 205 Layoffs, Three Studio Closures, Agency Cancelled

DC Universe Online house Sony Online Entertainment confirmed to Gamasutra that it is closing its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios, cutting 205 jobs and cancelling the long-awaited The Agency.
DC Universe Online house Sony Online Entertainment confirmed to Gamasutra that it is closing its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios, cutting 205 jobs and cancelling the long-awaited The Agency. An emailed statement added, "As part of this restructuring, SOE is discontinuing production of The Agency so it can focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties, while also maintaining its current portfolio of online games." "All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate concern," the company added. SOE said the decision will have "no impact" on games currently operating. Development efforts that were taking place at the Denver and Tucson studios will be transferred to the company's San Diego headquarters. The company said the streamlining will help SOE service its 20 million players it has hosted over the past year. Originally revealed in 2007 and under development at SOE Seattle, The Agency was an ambitious PC and PlayStation 3 MMO that put players in the role of spies. Rumors of development challenges had emerged during the course of the game's production that brought into question whether the game would see the light of day. SOE's Tuscon studio had developed a Facebook spin-off of the game with The Agency: Covert Ops. SOE Denver created trading card games including Free Realms Trading Card Game and Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures: Card Commander.

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