Sony Online Ent. closes 3 studios, lays of 205 workers

MUMBAI: As part of its massive restructuring process, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has closed three of its game studios in Denver, Tucson and Seattle and laid off 205 employees.

The release of action espionage online game ‘The Agency‘, which was being developed in all the shuttered studios, stands cancelled.
"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," said the company in a statement. "All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate

Acquired in 2006, the Denver studio had been focusing on digital card games based on SOE properties like Free Realms, Star Wars Galaxies, Legends of Norrath and Star Wars: The Clone Wars Adventures. The Tucson studio was overseeing the online strategy game, PoxNora.

SOE still has its Austin studio, which creates DC Universe Online and Star Wars Galaxies, and its headquarters in San Diego, where games like EverQuest, PlanetSide, Vanguard and Free Realms are run. Both studios were also impacted by the layoffs with as many as half of each studio‘s staff let go.
After rising to prominence in 1999 with its subscription-based EverQuest MMO game, SOE, in recent years, expanded beyond its core fantasy role-playing games. Over the past few years, the company has targeted families and younger gamers with free-to-play titles like Free Realms, which has more than 17 million registered users.
SOE‘s last releases include its second Star Wars game, Star Wars: The Clone Wars Adventures. Based on the popular Cartoon Network series from George Lucas,the free-to-play game world offered accessible mini-games and social networking experiences.

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