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Elder Scrolls Online team hit with layoffs, ZeniMax still 'strongly committed' to game

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.

The Elder Scrolls Online developer ZeniMax Online Studios suffered an unspecified number of layoffs recently, a representative for publisher Bethesda Softworks confirmed to Polygon today.

The statement from Bethesda says that the job losses were concentrated in two fields, customer service and development, and that the company made cuts to drop headcount back to levels prior to the staff expansion that was necessary in order to launch the game.

"As is the norm for games of this type, we had ramped up a large workforce to develop a game of vast scale, and ramped up our customer service to handle the expected questions and community needs of The Elder Scrolls Online at launch," reads the statement, which was first reported by Joystiq and later sent to Polygon.

"Now that we are nearly [six] months post launch, we have a thriving online community in a game that runs smoothly. We have adjusted staffing to meet the ongoing needs of the studio, which continues to operate with a large work force," the statement continued. According to Bethesda, the company "[continues] to operate large support centers in Hunt Valley, [Maryland,] and Galway, Ireland."

The Elder Scrolls Online, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, debuted on Mac and Windows PC this past April to mixed reviews. It was scheduled to be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June, but Bethesda announced in May that the game would miss that window by about six months.

"We remain strongly committed to The Elder Scrolls Online, and continue to invest heavily to develop new content for PC and Mac players, prepare the game for its console launch, and handle our planned expansion into important international territories," the statement adds.

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