We reported yesterday on the rumour that Sony Online Entertainment were about to close some studios and cancel some titles, unfortunately that rumour has turned out to be true.
The biggest gaming casualty of the cuts has been The Agency which was to be a MMO styled spy game between warring factions. It was always a massively ambitious plan an unfortunately it just wasn’t able to make it into the world.
The real casualties however are the 205 people who have been laid off in Seattle, Denver and Tucson where the studios were completely shut down.
This marks the second MMO for consoles that has been cancelled in the last year with APB earlier suffering a similar far after lack lustre PC sales.
Maybe creating a MMO while World of Warcraft is still going on isn’t the most prudent thing to do right now.
The official SOE statement is below.
As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions and close its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios. 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.
This strategic decision will have no impact on SOE’s current portfolio of live games; additionally SOE will transition development efforts for the Denver and Tucson studios’ suite of products to its San Diego headquarters. This strategic alignment of development resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online gaming and deliver on its promise of creating entertaining games for players of all ages, and servicing the 20 million players that visited SOE servers in just the past year.
Check out this trailer showing what The Agency could have been
Last Updated: April 1, 2011