Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has announced that it is cutting an unspecified number of staff across the company.
EverQuest Next was announced earlier this month and will remain unaffected by the job losses.
Posting on the company forums
, an SOE community manager confirmed the reduction in the workforce. A follow-up comment from SOE president John Smedley over Twitter also stated that the lay-offs will not affect any of the titles that the developer is currently working on, both already launched or in development.
In particular, the recently announced EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next Landmark were name checked as titles which will remain unaffected by the cuts.
'As a company, our goal is to focus on our core expertise of MMO games and as part of these efforts, we had to make the difficult decision to eliminate positions to help reduce costs, streamline our employee base and strategically align resources towards our current portfolio of games and upcoming slate of MMOs,'
said an SOE community manager. ' We deeply value our employees and are grateful for all they’ve contributed to our company and games. They will be missed by colleagues and friends, and we wish them well in the future.'
An email distributed to SOE staff that was obtained by Polygon
confirmed that the cuts were made to bring expenses in line with revenue and that according to SOE president John Smedley, this was something that probably should have been done a year ago but all efforts were made to avoid the workforce reduction instead.
Smedley also commented that instead of slowing down development on the company's next entries in the EverQuest series, if anything SOE intends to gather speed on the project.
EverQuest Next and its companion world-building title EverQuest Next Landmark were announced at the beginning of August. The MMO will feature fully destructible voxel-based terrain and eschew a traditional RPG levelling system. The game has been in production since 2009 and EverQuest Next Landmark is expected to launch later this year.