EVE Online developer CCP has issued a press release this afternoon saying that it intends to make a 20 per cent reduction to the company's headcount. CCP's Atlanta, Georgia studio will bear the brunt of the cuts, but some positions at the Reykjavik headquarters will also be affected.
The cuts are due to the company's inability to sustain the number of simultaneous projects it's currently juggling, which include EVE expansions such as the controversial Incarna update, console MMOFPS Dust 514 and MMOG World Of Darkness.
"During the last few months, as evidenced by our interaction with the community, we made some missteps on that journey," explains release, referencing the recent breakdown of relations between the studio and its vociferous, and highly active, Eve Online community.
"As we re-examine our outward relations, we are also taking time to re-evaluate our internal goals. In doing so, we have come to the conclusion that we are attempting too many things for a company our size. Developing EVE expansions, DUST 514 and World Of Darkness has stretched our resources too thin.
"Rather than allowing this to persist, we have made the decision to sharpen our focus. Sadly, this means reducing our staff. We estimate that around twenty percent of global positions will be affected by this process. These will be predominantly in our Atlanta, GA office, although select positions in our Reykjavik, Iceland office will be affected."
The release goes on the stress that CCP will do everything in its power to help affected employees find alternative employment, and that it is "very sad to lose some of our talented and dedicated colleagues to this necessary process".
The Atlanta team is currently working on World Of Darkness, but CCP is quick to quash fears that the coming cuts will bring an end to the game's development.
"World Of Darkness lives on," assures the release. "Its concepts are revolutionary. CCP continues to believe that it will alter the landscape of the MMO as significantly as EVE has done but we need more time to continue to develop them before dedicating the substantial resources required to bring this experience to market.
"As an innovator in the industry, CCP has never shied away from tough decisions, remaining agile to allow for shifts in production, technology and gaming trends since even before the launch of EVE Online. While our decision to refocus is a solemn one, it will benefit our players through a renewed commitment to the EVE universe and its fans."
There is also further contrition over CCP's recent mishandling of its community relations.
"We understand how an announcement such as this can be perceived by our community and industry peers," it reads. "We feel it is important to clearly address two questions that might arise. EVE Online is in good health. Our subscriber numbers are higher today than they were a year ago.
"Unlike many other MMO's on the market, we have continued to grow year-on-year since launch in 2003. However, over the past two months, our subscribers have gone down from their peak this summer. We attribute this to our own mistakes and poor communications with our players. We are correcting that now."
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