It looks like Sony Online Entertainment has hit some hard times. They recently announced the closure of its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios and the elimination of 205 jobs. Additionally, they have announced that they have canceled their cross-platform MMO The Agency. For those unfamiliar with the game, it was a spy-themed massively multiplayer online shooter featuring cross-platform play between Playstation 3 and PC.
When I first read this news I got worried that Planetside 2 would be on the chopping block next. Aside from an initial announcement and a few renders, news has been pretty quiet. However it turns out this is not the case. In a press release explaining the studio closures, SOE said:
“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.”
It is always sad when studios close and people lose their jobs. I hope everyone lands on their feed. However I am glad to see that not only is Planetside 2 not canceled, but that it also appears to be one of their priorities. It sucks that The Agency was canceled, but I would take a new Planetside game over that any day of the week.