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Defiance developer Trion Worlds hit with layoffs

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Trion Worlds, the studio behind the new MMO Defiance, has suffered layoffs as it transitions into a post-launch phase for the game.

A representative for the studio confirmed the layoffs in a statement to Polygon. The rep did not comment on the severity of the cuts, except to say that reports of them being as high as 70-80 percent of the studio are "grossly exaggerated." According to the statement, the layoffs do not affect the development of Rift or Trion's other games, which include the real-time strategy title End of Nations.

The rep also denied reports that Trion employees were being escorted out of the building or won't receive severance pay.

Here's the full statement:

To best position Trion in a rapidly changing industry, we have reorganized our teams and are expanding our free to play offering. With Defiance, we delivered a great game that more than one million gamers registered to play and continue to enjoy. As we progress from launch to ongoing development of the game, we are adjusting our staffing levels to deliver new content and improved features. Rift, and our other titles in development, were unaffected by these changes. We are very much looking forward to the free to play release of Rift and are excited by the other new titles currently in development.

Defiance is developed primarily at Trion's San Diego studio, while the company's office in Redwood Shores, Calif., handles development on Rift. Trion announced earlier this week that it will turn Rift into a free-to-play game as of June 12. Today's cuts follow Rift-related layoffs at Trion's Redwood Shores branch in mid-December.

Syfy recently renewed the Defiance television show for a second season.

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