Posting on the DC Universe Online forums, an official account stated that the company has "announced a reduction in our workforce." The statement, picked up by Gamasutra, added that the company wants to "focus on our core expertise of MMO games."
"As part of these efforts, we had to make the difficult decision to eliminate positions to help reduce costs, streamline our employee base and strategically align resources towards our current portfolio of games and upcoming slate of MMOs," added the statement.
SOE has blocked comments on the forum "out of respect for our employees." When contacted by Polygon, a company spokesperson declined to provide information on how many employees were affected and which projects or departments had seen job cuts.
The company recently announced its newest projects, EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next Landmark.
If you've been affected by these job cuts, you can contact our news team anonymously.
Update: In a company-wide email that was forwarded to Polygon, Sony Online president John Smedley expressed intense distaste for having to lay off employees, calling it a "horrible, sickening experience." According to Smedley, while many of the company's games are performing well, layoffs were necessary to bring expenses in line with revenue.
"For the past year we've done everything possible to avoid this situation," said Smedley. "We rightfully should have done this nearly a year ago but we have been fighting very hard to keep this from happening."
"this is a horrible, sickening experience"
While Smedley confirmed layoffs at the company's offices in Austin, Texas, and San Diego, he did not specify the number. He attempted to rally the remaining troops, saying Sony Online should aim to improve its performance so the company can rehire the individuals who lost their jobs.
"I know most of the people we're laying off today. Some of them have been with us here since the beginning. None of them deserved this," he said. "Our goal as a company needs to be to make incredible games and grow again so we can bring our friends back."
Smedley added that the layoffs won't affect the development of EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next Landmark, saying, "We're aren't slowing down development on [EverQuest Next] at all. In fact you can fully expect it to ramp up and a lot of people will end up helping to make the most amazing thing we've ever done as a company."