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PlanetSide 2 creative director leaves company after layoffs hit former SOE studio

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

Matt Higby, creative director on PlanetSide 2, announced that he resigned from Daybreak Game Company — the studio formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment — in a post on the PlanetSide subreddit this week. Higby's departure comes just a couple days after Daybreak laid off portions of its staff.

On Reddit, Higby said it was "time for a change," and that his exit from Daybreak wasn't exactly a spur of the moment decision.

"This is a move I've been considering for a while now," he said, "and the reorganization provided the right opportunity for me to exit."

Higby has served as creative director for PlanetSide 2, the free-to-play, massively multiplayer online shooter, since 2011. He joined Sony Online Entertainment in 2001, according to his LinkedIn profile.

"Planetside 2 is in great hands, with terrific people who honestly care about the game and the players," Higby assured PlanetSide fans on Reddit. "I can't stress this enough, the folks working on every aspect of the game, developers, marketing, community are talented, hard working people who care more than you can imagine — I'm fully confident they're going to do an amazing job on the next leg of the journey."

Higby later noted that "making video games is a team sport," and stressed that "A lot of that team is still there, still working their asses off, and they need your support right now."

PlanetSide 2 producer David Carey and technical director Ryan Elam indicated through Reddit and Facebook that they had also left Daybreak and PlanetSide behind.

Sony announced it had sold off Sony Online Entertainment to investment firm Columbus Nova earlier this month. The change in ownership resulted in a name change to Daybreak Game Company, but the San Diego-based studio said it would continue to work on existing and in-development games, like H1Z1, EverQuest Next and PlanetSide 2. The developer is in the process of bringing PlanetSide 2 to PlayStation 4.