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Rift developer Trion Worlds hit with layoffs in 'response to market conditions'

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Online game developer and publisher Trion Worlds laid off an unconfirmed number of developers today, with the team behind massively multiplayer online role-playing game Rift reportedly affected.

News of the layoffs spread quickly through Twitter, with affected coders, artists and quality assurance staffers breaking the news. According to one estimate from a former Trion artist, about 37 employees were let go.

A Trion Worlds spokeperson confirmed a "workforce reduction" in a statement sent to Polygon, which follows.

As a response to market conditions, product timelines and the natural evolution of our company, we have made some organizational changes, which include a workforce reduction. This was a difficult decision and we wish the best for those affected by these changes. At Trion, we remain focused on delivering top quality online game experiences, and are committed to supporting Rift and launching our highly anticipated new titles Defiance, Warface, and End of Nations in 2013.

Rift originally launched in March 2011. The subscription-based MMO added the option to play for free up to level 20 earlier this year. The Storm Legion expansion for Rift was released in November.

Last week, developer Petroglyph reportedly laid off 30 of its employees. Petroglyph is developing End of Nations, a game planned to be published by Trion Worlds.

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