The hammer comes down hard on employees of Sony Online Entertainment.
UPDATE, Feb 12th: Thanks to everyone who has reached out to us regarding this news. I doubt we'll get an exhaustive list, but it's obvious that the community team, producers and developers were all hit pretty hard. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to @Cyliena on Twitter if you have more information.
One year ago I took the above picture of a smiling Linda "Brasse" Carlson, the Director of Community Relations, in her expertly handmade dwarven regalia, on the Sony Online Entertainment campus.
About an hour ago the first confirmed layoff from the transition to Daybreak Games hit, with Linda posting on Facebook that "I have been released from the best and most challenging job I have ever had. I thank you all for being part of that incredible experience. Too many people to thank personally, but know that I am extraordinarily grateful and very curious where life takes me now."
Linda isn't the only one affected. EverQuest franchise Director of Development Dave "Smokejumper" Georgeson has confirmed now on Twitter that he was laid off. EverQuest II artist Aaron "Gnobrin" Bisnett has also confirmed that he is gone, and we've been told that Systems Designer Akil "Lyndro" Hooper (confirmed now) from EQ/EQ2 has been let go as well.
Also confirmed are Adam "Ngreth" Bell (EQ dev) (x), Tiffany "Amnerys" Spence (Community) (x), Racheal "Afista" McKenny (EQ2 Community) (x), Endymion (EQ2 dev) (x), Eric "Felgon" Smith (Landmark/EQNext producer) (x), Noah Watkins (H1Z1 artist) (x), Steve "Moorgard" Danuser (EQNext Lead Content/Story Designer) (x), Kelduum Revaan (H1Z1 Technical Designer) (x), Aimee "Ashlanne" Rekoske (Community) (x), David Carey (PS2 producer) (x), Jeffrey Bard (EQ2 dev) (x) and Michael "Xelgad" Ganz (EQ2 dev) (x). There are likely many more, but these are the only ones we publicly know of at this time; a list on Reddit has a few more names not mentioned here.
Colette "Dexella" Murphey posted the company's official statement; here are the key points:
Last week we announced that we were acquired and are now operating independently as Daybreak Game Company.
Unfortunately, this realignment means adjusting staffing as well. We announced today that we will eliminate positions in our San Diego and Austin studios.
These reductions will not affect the operation of our current games and as mentioned above, will help better position our company for future success.
Daybreak's full statement is found after the jump. Tiffany "Amnerys" Spence has discussed turning over a new leaf on her blog, while former PlanetSide 2 producer David Carey posted an insightful public note to the community regarding the layoffs over on Reddit.
We wish the best to everyone involved.
Dear Players, Partners & Friends,
Last week we announced that we were acquired and are now operating independently as Daybreak Game Company. To better position our newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and to deliver on our legacy of making top online games, we have had to make some tough choices including realignment of resources.
Unfortunately, this realignment means adjusting staffing as well. We announced today that we will eliminate positions in our San Diego and Austin studios. We deeply value our employees and never take these decisions lightly so we’ve done our best to do what’s right for the people affected. Although extremely difficult, these are necessary actions that will ultimately drive improved results and help strengthen our company’s foundation for success. Many of us are saying goodbye to close friends and colleagues who we’ve worked with over the years, and we are grateful for the memories and all that they’ve contributed. They will be greatly missed, and we wish them nothing but the best for the future.
These reductions will not affect the operation of our current games and as mentioned above, will help better position our company for future success. As we move forward, we are committed to delivering the best online games and working side-by-side with our players to drive the future of our online games.
Thank you for your continued support,
The Daybreak Games Team