Sony Online Entertainment has announced that it will lay off nearly 205 employees, close down three of its internal development studios, and cancel its long-delayed MMO project The Agency. The SOE internal studios targeted for closure are the SOE Seattle, SOE Tucson, and SOE Denver.

SOE has also laid off roughly one-half of its employees at its Austin studio and a substantial number of employees at its San Diego headquarters. In total, SOE has laid off about one-third of its total workforce. The company says the layoffs are part of a streamlining process and that it has new MMOs in development based on its EverQuest and PlanetSide properties.

SOE Tucson was formerly Octopi, LLC, developer of the PoxNora online CCG that Sony acquired last year. SOE Denver was the  long-time developer of SOE’s own online CCG properties, including the Free Realms TCG and the Legends of Norrath online CCG. The games formerly overseen by the closing studios will now be managed by SOE’s San Diego headquarters.

Twenty million unique players logged into SOE’s game servers last year. SOE says that the layoffs will not affect operation of any of its currently operating online games. Although The Agency is canceled, a social game based on The Agency IP is currently available to play on Facebook.


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