Daybreak Studios, the creator of multiplayer game DC Universe Online, announced the layoffs of employees this week.
Breaking the news to Variety, the company said the layoffs were due to a "structure optimization." The article pegged the number of employees at 70, though a spokesperson for Daybreak Studios declined to confirm the number of people let go. “We are optimizing our structure to ensure we best position ourselves for continued success in the years to come," the spokesperson said. "This effort has required us to make some changes within the organization and we are doing everything we can to support those impacted in this difficult time. As we look to improve efficiencies and realign resources, we remain focused on supporting our existing games and development of our future titles.”
There were rumors that layoffs were concentrated in Daybreak's Austin, Texas, office but the spokesperson asserted that is not the case. “No, that is not correct,” they said. “Our Austin office is not closing."
John Smedley, former President of Daybreak Studios, expressed his disappointment on Twitter, decrying the reported 70 layoffs as "a lot." He also tweeted his outrage over the decision and the timing.
“Really, really, really angry right now,” Smedley tweeted. “It’s December FFS and this is how you treat employees
@DaybreakGames come on.”
Smedley sympathizes with the laid off workers and holds the management solely responsible. “Very sorry to hear about the layoffs at Daybreak,” he wrote. “Those are good people that should still be working there 10 years from now if things were being well run.”
Daybreak Studios was founded by Sony in 1997 as Sony Online Entertainment, a division of Sony Computer Entertainment. Sony sold the company in 2015 and it became Daybreak Game Company. Apart from DC Universe Online, Daybreak Studios also developed EverQuest II, H1Z1 and PlanetSide 2. The company launched DC Universe Online in 2011.