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Trion Worlds lays off staff

Job cuts come as German MMO outfit Gamigo acquires majority of assets of Rift and Defiance developer/publisher

[UPDATE 10/23]: Gamigo has confirmed the acquisition of Trion Worlds by way of an "Assignment for the Benefit of the Creditors" process.

"In this process, gamigo group acquired the majority of the assets, including the platform, takes over employees to operate the business and gets the full publishing rights of the games," the company explained. "The IPs of the Trion Worlds games have been acquired by gamigo's sister company Padmapani GmbH and are made available for gamigo group, worldwide and exclusive."

Gamigo CEO Remco Westermann commented on the deal, saying, "The successful acquisition and subsequent integration of Trion into our portfolio substantially strengthen gamigo's position in the European and American gaming market. On the one hand, we add similar and successful brands and games to the already broad gamigo portfolio, on the other hand, we are looking to unlock substantial synergies with the group's existing business to further benefit from the remarkable growth potential that the gaming market offers."

The original story follows below:

Defiance 2050 developer Trion Worlds has suffered a round of layoffs today. As reported by MMORPG.com, news of upheaval at the studio first hit today when the company's director of community relations Linda "Brasse" Carlson posted about it on Discord.

Carlson said that Trion had been sold and "a great many of us are packing to leave today." As for who bought the studio, Carlson's post said "I hope that the Gamigo team will look after you well in the future." She followed that up with a post on the company's official forums that did not mention Gamigo as the acquiring party.

"We can confirm that there has been a transaction involving Trion Worlds and its games," the company's official statement said. "While many of the names and faces you've come to know in our studios will remain on through this transition, others will not be making the journey. To those who are leaving us, we are forever grateful for your incredible work and contributions over the years."

Gamasutra spoke to one source that suggested the vast majority of Trion employees were let go in the layoffs, with cuts at both the Redwood City, California offices and the Austin, Texas branch. The site also put the headcount of the company prior to the cuts at 200 people.

It's been a busy year for Trion Worlds. The company acquired the assets of defunct Marvel Heroes developer Gazillion, re-launched a subscription version of its free-to-play MMO Rift and a TV-less version of its transmedia MMO Defiance, and laid off more than a dozen employees after the Defiance revamp saw release.

Based in Germany, Gamigo is a free-to-play publisher with a portfolio of more than 30 MMOs and an additional 500 casual titles. It has previously acquired Intenium, Looki Publishing, and Aeria Games. It currently lists a headcount of more than 250 employees spread across nine locations around the world. Gamigo did not immediately return a request for comment.

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