It’s been a rough day for Sony. First, mass layoffs hit the company’s staff in Austin and San Diego, while studios in Denver, Seattle and Tucson were closed entirely. More than 200 jobs have been lost – nearly a third of SOE‘s workforce – in a “strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce”.
[img_big]center,6081,2010-11-20/cassie_sniped_succubus.jpg,Cassie – from The Agency[/img_big]
Then, in an unsurprising sequel, it’s been confirmed that oft-delayed, cross-platform spy MMO The Agency has also been scrapped. It’s been in development at SOE Seattle, and – as the studio no longer exists, the game’s disappeared also.
A statement explains:
“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.”
Fortunately, it’s not quite so bad for any projects currently underway at Denver or Tucson, they will be swiftly transitioned to the company’s San Diego headquarters – and any live games will not be affected.
“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.”
We’re disappointed. Job cuts are never fun, but we were particularly looking forward to the “Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy” gameplay of The Agency, too. It was first announced back in 2007, and had been delayed and pushed back and re-prioritised so many times we really should have seen this news coming. But then, last year, we were told that it would be released in the later half of 2011! …looks like we got our hopes up for nothin’. Boo.