Daybreak Games, formerly Sony Online Entertainment, has had a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde sort of two week span.
Last week the company announced that they were sold by Sony to a New York firm and were going independent. While nothing was set in stone, it was apparent that former Sony exclusives like H1Z1 were now going to be prepped and readied for other platforms like the Xbox One. The mood seemed to be that of optimism and joy as detailed by this tweet from John Smedley, president at Daybreak Games Company.
Cut to this week and the mood has quickly shifted away from the optimism in favor of gloom. Earlier this week the company announced that it was laying off a good portion of it’s staff. After the acquisition, apparently the decision was made privately to cut jobs in order to make the company profitable. While we don’t know the actual extent of these layoffs, included in them are a couple of high profile figures including David Georgeson (Director of Development) and Linda Carlson (Global Community Relations).
A statement from the company followed the rumors confirming everything:
As part of a strategic decision to rationalize the business, Daybreak Game Company announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios. This alignment of resources better positions the newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and developments, including delivering on its legacy of making top online games and establishing a solid foundation for future multi-platform success. These reductions will not affect the operation of current games and the company will continue on its mission to partner with its player community to drive the future and push the boundaries of online gaming.
I want to offer my condolences and best wishes for everyone that has been affected. It’s always terrible hearing about things like this and I can’t imagine the toll it takes emotionally and physically not only on the individuals, but families as well.