It’s never easy to hear that a developer with a promising future is suddenly hit by a round of layoffs. Not only does this mean that people will soon be without jobs, but the company itself will be light on staff with those people gone.
It’s incredibly unfortunate news that, following the sale from Sony, and the name change from Sony Online Entertainment to Daybreak Game Company, the H1Z1 and PlanetSide 2 developer is now facing layoffs of its own at both its Austin and San Diego locations. Former employees, and the studio itself, confirmed the news today, which comes just a week after the aforementioned sale by Sony, and not too long after PlanetSide 2 broke a world record.
An estimation regarding the number of people affected is unknown, but PlanetSide 2 Creative Director Matthew Higby noted on Twitter that Daybreak would be losing a large number of talented people, among them being EverQuest Director of Development David Georgeson, who also discussed how he was affected by the layoffs via Twitter.
Yeah, I'm sorry folks but it's true. LM, eqn, eq and eqii are no longer guided by moi. Other dreamers will steer now.— David Georgeson (@DaveGeorgeson) February 11, 2015
Last week, the studio reassured those concerned by Sony’s sale by saying that things would basically proceed as per usual, and their newly available resources would help support development and any multi-platform plans in the works. In a statement released by Daybreak, however, the layoffs are stated to be part of “a strategic decision to rationalize the business.”
“This alignment of resources better positions the newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and developments, including delivering on its legacy of making top online games and establishing a solid foundation for future multi-platform success.
“These reductions will not affect the operation of current games and the company will continue on its mission to partner with its player community to drive the future and push the boundaries of online gaming.”
It’ll be rather hard to believe that games like H1Z1, which is currently in Steam Early Access, and PlanetSide 2, a game that went into closed beta on PS4 last month, won’t even be a little bit affected by the layoffs. The last thing either of these games needs are something that could negatively affect people’s opinions towards them.
More details are sure to come later in the week, but hopefully Daybreak’s former employees can find work elsewhere, including those that aren’t sure if they’re still part of the team or not. Alongside that, lets hope that Daybreak can make a decent recovery and still take advantage of its new independent position.