EVE developer CCP has announced that it will be reducing its headcount by 20 per cent, with the job losses largely taking place at the company's Atlanta, Georgia studio, although some positions in Reykjavik will be affected.
A press release issued this afternoon revealed that recent attempts to develop EVE expansions, Dust 514 and the new MMO World of Darkness all at once had stretched company resources too thinly, and that job cuts would have to be made in order to refocus development.
The release continues the company's vein of frank communication with its customers, following several issues of negative feedback following recent changes to EVE, which led to the company offering reduced subscriptions to entice leaving players to return.
"During the last few months, as evidenced by our interaction with the community, we made some missteps on that journey," reads the release, referencing the recent diversification of projects.
"As we re-examine our outward relations, we are also taking time to re-evaluate our internal goals. In doing so, we have come to the conclusion that we are attempting too many things for a company our size. Developing EVE expansions, DUST 514 and World of Darkness has stretched our resources too thin.
"Rather than allowing this to persist, we have made the decision to sharpen our focus. Sadly, this means reducing our staff. We estimate that around twenty percent of global positions will be affected by this process. These will be predominantly in our Atlanta, GA office, although select positions in our Reykjavik, Iceland office will be affected.
"We are very sad to lose some of our talented and dedicated colleagues to this necessary process. Naturally we are making every effort within our means to help them find alternative employment. Decisions like these are difficult for all those involved and extraordinarily sad for all of those whose lives are affected."
"First, EVE Online is in good health. Our subscriber numbers are higher today than they were a year ago."
The major casualty of the restructuring will be the team which was working on World of Darkness, which will continue development under reduced resources. EVE and Dust 514 will take priority.
"We understand how an announcement such as this can be perceived by our community and industry peers. We feel it is important to clearly address two questions that might arise, " the release continues.
"First, EVE Online is in good health. Our subscriber numbers are higher today than they were a year ago. Unlike many other MMO's on the market, we have continued to grow year-on-year since launch in 2003. However, over the past two months, our subscribers have gone down from their peak this summer. We attribute this to our own mistakes and poor communications with our players. We are correcting that now.
"Second, World of Darkness lives on. Its concepts are revolutionary. CCP continues to believe that it will alter the landscape of the MMO as significantly as EVE has done but we need more time to continue to develop them before dedicating the substantial resources required to bring this experience to market.
"As an innovator in the industry, CCP has never shied away from tough decisions, remaining agile to allow for shifts in production, technology and gaming trends since even before the launch of EVE Online. While our decision to refocus is a solemn one, it will benefit our players through a renewed commitment to the EVE Universe and its fans."
The new EVE expansion, as yet un-named but designed to return to the game's core values after players derided the 'Incarna' addition earlier this year, is due to launch in winter, as are player trials for the PSN exclusive Dust 514.