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Posted by Alex

News began bubbling yesterday via the Twitter feed of well-informed game developer/frequent employment death knell-sounder George Broussard that publisher Sony Online was cutting a significant chunk of its development staff. That news was sadly confirmed today with SOE's announcement that 205 positions would be terminated across three studios in Seattle, Denver and Tucson. All of those studios are now shuttered, as a result.
 
Of the projects formerly being worked on by these teams, the frequently delayed MMO spy thriller The Agency proved to be the biggest casualty. Initially announced back in 2007, The Agency made repeated smoke signals regarding continued existence via screenshots and occasional previews, but the game never seemed to get a firm grip on anything resembling a release date. Its cancellation certainly comes as little shock, though is no less tragic, given the hefty number of people now out of work.


In the official statement, as it originally appeared on Game Informer (and appears in its entirety below), Sony cites the need to focus on key upcoming titles in established franchises such as EverQuest and PlanetSide. SOE also states that current MMO projects, such as EverQuest II and DC Universe Online are unaffected by these cuts. 
 

 As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions and close its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios.  As part of this restructuring, SOE is discontinuing production of The Agency so it can focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties, while also maintaining its current portfolio of online games.  All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate concern.
 
This strategic decision will have no impact on SOE’s current portfolio of live games; additionally SOE will transition development efforts for the Denver and Tucson studios’ suite of products to its San Diego headquarters.  This strategic alignment of development resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online gaming and deliver on its promise of creating entertaining games for players of all ages, and servicing the 20 million players that visited SOE servers in just the past year.

Staff
Posted by BlitzKriegJezus

Sad to hear about this.

Posted by Borodin

Another mmo bites the dust :/

Posted by Grissefar

Meh

Posted by MJHAYLETT

that's a shame. I was interested in The Agency more than DCUO or Free Realms. :(

Posted by UsbCable

Best of luck to all those let go.

Posted by crusader8463

Condolences to everyone now looking for work.

Posted by TheHT

Totally forgot about The Agency. Too bad, but them's the ways.

Posted by Daveyo520

Ya that game has been off the radar for so long.

Posted by akfresh

scoop

Posted by OllyOxenFree

So many cancellations and cuts...
 
WHEN WILL THIS EVER END?!?!?

Posted by stalefishies
"As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions"
 
Could they not have worded it in a way that doesn't sound incredibly heartless? At least say you regret doing it, or you're sad to announce it, or something.
Posted by Nac

Smart thinking. Cancelling original properties to focus on another fucking Everquest...

Posted by Skald
@stalefishies said:
" "As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions"  Could they not have worded it in a way that doesn't sound incredibly heartless? At least say you regret doing it, or you're sad to announce it, or something. "
Actually, that makes them sound like a company of evil robots. 
 
Can't say I didn't see this game going south, though.
Posted by Wes899
@stalefishies said:
" "As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions"  Could they not have worded it in a way that doesn't sound incredibly heartless? At least say you regret doing it, or you're sad to announce it, or something. "
If they regretted doing it they wouldn't have done it in the first place.
Posted by Catarrhal
The Agency is the only MMORPG I've ever seen that actually looked kinda interesting.
Posted by Malakhii

Sucks for the people losing their jobs. The game must have been stinking it up for them to pull the plug after so long, an so much money spent. Still looking forward to Planetside 2 though!  

Posted by PenguinDust

I was really looking forward to the Agency from all the various walk-throughs I saw of it over the years.  Why is it so hard to build a modern setting MMO?  Arrgh!  And, yes I'm sad to hear about a lot of skilled professional losing their jobs now.  There's no good news in any of this.

Posted by CornBREDX

It really sucks people lost their jobs, but I can't help but say I'm not entirely surprised.
 
Although I could think of a few live MMOs they have that they should probably think about ejecting- although to be honest I wouldn't doubt a few will see their last days not long from now.
 
I'm only speculating though. We'll see. I don't like people losing jobs, but that doesn't make some of these games or SoEs policies any better.

Online
Posted by Paulus

So they stopped working on an original and interesting sounding mmo, to focus more space and fantasy mmo... 
 
:(

Posted by Stahlbrand

Thats a hefty does of layoffs, bad news indeed.
 
But did anybody actually expect The Agency to be released at this point, I mean c'mon.

Posted by Dyram

Heard about this, and it is quite unfortunate. 
 
Honestly, I saw the death of The Agency coming a long time ago when everyone stopped talking about it at trade shows and whatnot. The closure of that studio had me worried about the fate of PlanetSide's sequel. 
 
Talking with a friend, I guessed that they were likely moving to focus development more on the continuation of Everquest and PlanetSide Next, which Smedley has been talking up a lot and announced plans to soon do a full website and reveal. Turns out I was right. At least they've recognized their core games and are committing more to them.

Edited by MisterMouse

I believe it is actually spelled Tucson, not Tuscon 
 
also that is a major bummer.

Edited by MrKlorox

The layoffs suck. And The Agency was looking that way as well, but we'll never know now.
 
As I mentioned in the thread about this, it's probably a good idea to not have two Sony exclusive games named so similarly. Still looking forward to Rockstar North's Agent. In fact something tells me Pachter was confusing these two games in recent Bonus Round episodes while talking with Garnett Lee.

Posted by DeF

sucks. :/
 
also, I was kinda looking forward to "the agency" since I heard about it. bummer

Posted by Chris2KLee

205 people, not to mention their families. I wish them all luck, and hope they can land on their feet. As for The Agency, it felt like SOE never actually knew what the hell it was supposed to be, or what they wanted it to be.

Posted by ryanwho
@Paulus said:
" So they stopped working on an original and interesting sounding mmo, to focus more space and fantasy mmo...  :( "
Yes, they stopped working on their APB/Crimecraft style MMO for some reason.
Posted by l4wd0g

I feel bad for all those people. That's a huge bummer.

Posted by Asurastrike
@Nac said:
" Smart thinking. Cancelling original properties to focus on another fucking Everquest... "
The Agency has been in development for nearly 5 years and they have nothing to show for it. It was time for Sony to cut it's losses.
Posted by StaticFalconar
@Wes899 said:
" @stalefishies said:
" "As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions"  Could they not have worded it in a way that doesn't sound incredibly heartless? At least say you regret doing it, or you're sad to announce it, or something. "
If they regretted doing it they wouldn't have done it in the first place. "
I'm pretty sure they would regret losing millions if they had kept the studios open even more. 
Posted by zombie2011

This game just didn't interest me at all.

Online
Posted by OmegaPirate

damn that's a shame - hopefully  they'll land on their feet and whatever they decided was worth more attention than the agency actually turns out to be worth a damn

Edited by Yummylee

For a sec there I thought the article was on about Rockstar's Agent. And reminded me of how very little we've still heard from this. But then again that's pretty much the situation L.A Noire was at initially, keeping itself firmly in the dark for so long. 
 
Anywhoo, more importantly best wishes to all those who are now on the job hunt. They'll hopefully bounce back pretty swiftly with such credentials of working under Sony.

Posted by Deusoma

Oh good, I had The Agency confused with Agent, the open-world spy thing Rockstar's working on. Don't get me wrong, it really, really sucks that two hundred people lost their jobs, but a part of me is focused on the fact that at least the game that got cancelled wasn't one that would have done any good anyway.

Posted by tourgen

As an original boxed Everquest release owner and ex-player I hope SOE goes out of business.  And all their ex-employees go on to better paying, more rewarding careers elsewhere.

Posted by Paulus
@ryanwho said:
" @Paulus said:
" So they stopped working on an original and interesting sounding mmo, to focus more space and fantasy mmo...  :( "
Yes, they stopped working on their APB/Crimecraft style MMO for some reason. "
APB and Crimecraft were just crap, if you actually manage to make a decent game in that style you'd have a decent shot. 
Making a decent fantasy/space mmo isn't gonna cut it, it has to be great and even then they need a metric shit ton of luck. 
 
I'm not saying I don't get why they're doing it though it's that good ol'   "that thing is successful so let's make one of those!" mentality.
Posted by Hef

Why would you cancel the agency.  Man I was really hoping to see something on that at E3.

Edited by Brackynews

I bet these folks could hash out an intriguing TF2 mod. I'd buy it.
With the field cleared, does this mean the fabled Alpha Protocol MMO stands to see the light of day?

 There is only one correct response.
Posted by AhmadMetallic

wasnt all that interested in The Agency as i dont play MMOs, but bad news is bad

Posted by Jayzilla

i am surprised that people are sad about an SOE MMO being cancelled. Their track record isn't exactly a sterling one.

Posted by S0ndor
@stalefishies said:
" "As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions"  Could they not have worded it in a way that doesn't sound incredibly heartless? At least say you regret doing it, or you're sad to announce it, or something. "
But that would be a lie.
Posted by jakob187

Terrible news.  However, it seems like they basically announced a sequel to PlanetSide?

Posted by Hot_Karl
The Agency getting cancelled? Shocker!
But seriously, always sucks that people are losing their jobs & what they put so much time & effort into.
Posted by radioactivez0r

" This strategic alignment of development resources
 
Man, I'd like to live in a world without corporate speak.

Posted by detectivepbert

I wonder if this could have something to do with DCUO's weak reception.   The Agency seems like it would have been cool though.

Posted by Origina1Penguin

I was wondering what was happening with The Agency. Shame.

Posted by AuthenticM

LOL

Posted by MistaSparkle
@radioactivez0r said:
"" This strategic alignment of development resources"   Man, I'd like to live in a world without corporate speak. "

Yeah, wouldn't it be cool if chrome asked to translate that?
Posted by scarace360

Sucks for people losing jobs.

Posted by Gabriel

Good, Good.
 
Now Sony can spend more money on...uh...Star Wars Galaxies?
 
WHY IS THAT STILL RUNNING?

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