Sony Online Entertainment has closed three studios and is to lay off almost a third of its workforce, according to reports.
Rumours began to spread last night when George Broussard, co-creator of the Duke Nukem series, tweeted to say: “Word [is] that Sony Online Entertainment Seattle is having layoffs and that studio closure is possible.”
Sources have since told gaming blog Kotaku that the creator of DC Universe Online and Free Realms has closed three of its studios, in Seattle, Tucson and Arizona.
In addition, half of the staff at SOE’s offices in Austin, Texas have been let go, along with a “sizeable portion” of those based in San Diego. In total the cuts are reported to have left one third of SOE’s workforce jobless.
Sony Online Entertainment shed 35 staff in an efficiency drive last July, affecting four per cent of its workforce. The studio’s free-to-play PlayStation Network MMOG, Free Realms, was released earlier this week.