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The Agency (PS3/PC) cancelled, 3 SOE studios closed, 200+ layoffs across SOE studios

offshore

Member
May 26, 2009
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Hang on, the 200 let go is a third of SOE?

I had no idea SOE was so big. It thought it had hundred employees or something.
 

-PXG-

Member
May 20, 2008
25,508
5
0
NJ
Infinite Justice said:
the only surprise was why it took so long to get canned.

sucks for those 200+ people though. :(
This. The Agency looked like Perfect Dark Zero, but even worse. Sucks for those who got laid off though.
 

Zefah

Gold Member
Jan 7, 2007
40,124
14,306
1,585
That's unfortunate that so many people lost their jobs, but I hope this restructuring will make EverQuest 3 and Planetside 2 better games. More specifically, I hope EQ3 doesn't just turn into a WoW clone in Norrath. Unfortunately, it probably will :(
 

cuyahoga

Dudebro, My Shit is Fucked Up So I Got to Shoot/Slice You II: It's Straight-Up Dawg Time
Apr 14, 2009
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Surprised Smedley is still there — he has a 15% approval rating on Glassdoor, which is the second or third lowest of any gaming CEO. The Agency's cancellation is unsurprising, development sounds like it was very problematic.
 

Man

Member
Sep 27, 2009
11,920
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Sad for the people involved but the logic behind the business decision is clear as day.
Ineptitude to finish several of their projects.
 

GQman2121

Banned
Apr 10, 2007
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Baltimore
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There's a lot of blame to go around when you have a project in development for this long and then just can it. You can't help but feel for the people who lost their jobs and probably had no control over the situation.
 

LiK

Member
Mar 26, 2007
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twitter.com
GQman2121 said:
There's a lot of blame to go around when you have a project in development for this long and then just can it. You can't help but feel for the people who lost their jobs and probably had no control over the situation.
Always blame management.
 

Dipswitch

Member
May 14, 2009
2,571
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Not surprised about The Agency. It looked utterly mediocre everytime I saw it. Still, sucks for all those people who worked on it as long as they did, only to be shown the door before it ever got released. Hope they land on their feet soon.

And holy shit, how much money was wasted on this thing? Millions and millions of dollars down the tubes. That's nuts. Better than the alternative I suppose, which would have been spending even more to support what would have likely been a financial black-pit.
 

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,462
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Attempting to make an MMO, of any kind, seems pretty dangerous these days (as in, the last few years as well).
 
Aug 27, 2009
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I was just reading the official statement and this bit caught my attention:

SOE said:
This strategic alignment of development resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online gaming
Is this another "official leader" kind of thing?
 

Tylahedras

Banned
Jul 6, 2008
3,267
0
0
The idea of the agency was good, the one time I saw it in action it looked pretty much like vaporware. Sounds like someone at Sony finally visted the studio and realized it wasn't going to work.

Usually when you find that out after 3 years of investment heads roll.
 

Grinchy

Member
Aug 3, 2010
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a cave outside of Whoville.
If this is "normal" downsizing after the launch of an MMO (they've now launched 2 recently on the PS3) then I wish SOE would do something abnormal like keep the people there so they can finish the unfinished games that keep getting put out.

It's pretty obvious they could use some more people on the DCUO team...

I have read posts that Free Realms only starts up if you are lucky on PS3.
 

zerokoolpsx

Member
Nov 2, 2009
11,899
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0
Agency has been in development for so long. I figured it would have been released by now and the first trailer I saw was back in 2007. I had totally forgotten about it because its been so long. Three studios closed? Hope they find new jobs soon.
 

jonabbey

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Oct 8, 2006
1,417
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www.ganymeta.org
I hope SOE has someone left (or has just hired someone) who can concentrate on improving PSN. Having to take downtime on the whole of PSN just to add support for cloud saves for PS+ subscribers isn't that impressive in 2011, guys.
 

Combichristoffersen

Combovers don't work when there is no hair
Jun 26, 2009
23,334
1
1,030
Norway
Too bad it wasn't SCEJ that got shut down instead. Best of wishes to those affected, hope you'll be able to land new jobs ASAP.
 

bluemax

Banned
Mar 14, 2006
23,006
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Los Angeles
jonabbey said:
I hope SOE has someone left (or has just hired someone) who can concentrate on improving PSN. Having to take downtime on the whole of PSN just to add support for cloud saves for PS+ subscribers isn't that impressive in 2011, guys.
Sony Online Entertainment has NOTHING to do with PSN.

PSN is developed by some part of SCE. SOE is a separate entity.
 

Omiee

Member
Mar 16, 2009
12,772
0
855
CasaFreakingBlanca
noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo i would have payed 100 euro just for the game and gotten a life subscription.
why did it get cancelled =( fuck fuck fuck
 

StuBurns

Banned
Jan 9, 2008
69,543
0
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Combichristoffersen said:
Too bad it wasn't SCEJ that got shut down instead. Best of wishes to those affected, hope you'll be able to land new jobs ASAP.
The Last Guardian will be the best game Sony ships this generation.
 

Raoh

Member
Aug 30, 2009
3,765
15
665
Bronx
actually its good news..

sony needs to streamline their divisions...


and i'm sure there will be some rehiring of the people that were laid off..


as a gamer.. i just hope they dont completely abandon their plans for an agency like game.. their original ideas for it for just brilliant..


Good luck to all those people laid off..
 

1-D_FTW

Member
Jun 14, 2006
17,069
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0
The Agency was always a game that sounded awesome in theory, but fell apart once you started thinking about the limitations of good game design. Surprised that got to suck the teet for as long as it did.
 

Fjordson

Member
Jul 5, 2010
34,917
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Incredibly sad about The Agency. The concepts associated with it sounded really interesting and I thought it looked pretty cool in motion. Hopefully something like it comes to fruition in the future, either from SOE or someone else.

And best of luck to anyone out of a job. Here's to them landing on their feet soon.
 

Jafku

Member
Sep 23, 2009
5,880
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Can't say i'm surprised The Agency was cancelled since we haven't seen a lot of media since it's announcement.
 

MalboroRed

Banned
Jan 2, 2011
1,032
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1-D_FTW said:
The Agency was always a game that sounded awesome in theory, but fell apart once you started thinking about the limitations of good game design. Surprised that got to suck the teet for as long as it did.
This. Great on paper, meh in execution whenever they showed it, looked like any other first/third-person shooter except they couldn't decide whether it was first or third-person, mediocre visuals, gameplay-wise nothing really distinguished it from any other shooter except it didn't look as polished and they really hadn't shown why it should be a MMO, basically it worked very similar to standard DM/obj/co-op.

Matt Wilson bailing out from SOE Seattle was an indication that the ship wasn't going to stay afloat for much longer.

I thought FireAnt was a good purchase for them, but the shooter thing just wasn't in their wheelhouse, and I'm not sure why one needs to have a MMO shooter when modern shooters already have player progression, objective games, co-op, etc.

That said, I'm sad to see the lay-offs, SOE really hasn't produced anything memorable for awhile now.

GQman2121 said:
There's a lot of blame to go around when you have a project in development for this long and then just can it. You can't help but feel for the people who lost their jobs and probably had no control over the situation.
I wonder if Smedley is going to take some responsibility for this, you have to have years of poor design direction and poor management to arrive at a product that you cancelled after so long in development.
 

Morn

Banned
Jan 29, 2010
2,819
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bluemax said:
Sony Online Entertainment has NOTHING to do with PSN.

PSN is developed by some part of SCE. SOE is a separate entity.
SOE designed PSN and is part of SCEA.
 
Apr 14, 2008
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Morn said:
SOE designed PSN and is part of SCEA.
What? No. Sony Online Entertainment was a software group formed under Sony Pictures Entertainment way back in 1998. It was only moved under Sony Computer Entertainment in 2008, as a part of Sony's company-wide restructuring. It is known for producing a variety of MMOs over the past 13 years (EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, DC Universe Online), and has absolutely nothing to do with the PlayStation Network.
 

Morn

Banned
Jan 29, 2010
2,819
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makingmusic476 said:
What? No. Sony Online Entertainment was a software group formed under Sony Pictures Entertainment way back in 1998. It was only moved under Sony Computer Entertainment in 2008, as a part of Sony's company-wide restructuring. It is known for producing a variety of MMOs over the past 13 years (EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, DC Universe Online), and has absolutely nothing to do with the PlayStation Network.
Wrong. They designed PSN.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-01-14-mmo-in-tights-will-dc-universe-change-console-gaming-interview?page=2

Eurogamer: Could a third-party publisher enjoy as much freedom on PSN as you, given your Sony affiliation?

John Smedley: It's funny because a lot of people get the perception that that's the case. But actually we submit just like every single other publisher to get tested - we have to go through the same QA every one else does.

What helps us is that we built the PlayStation Network in the first place. That has given us some advantages in knowing how a lot of the innards work. But all those things are available to the outside world.
SOE built PSN. Right there. Proof. Deal with it.
 
Apr 14, 2008
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Sep 30, 2009
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Galvanise_ said:
So The Agency is probably 99% cancelled then.

Jeez. A third of the company. Shit must be going down behind the scenes.
Or maybe their games don't sell and they take an exorbitant amount of time to develop.
 

Morn

Banned
Jan 29, 2010
2,819
0
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makingmusic476 said:
That's... very surprising. I was under the impression that just about all the PS3's features were designed in Japan, save region-specific services like Netflix, which even then would use hooks put in place by SCEI.

Sorry for being all like "wtf you're wrong" lol.
SCEJ came up with the initial ideas, and SOE implemented it and designed the network infrastructure, tools, etc.