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"As we announced in the stock notice that went out on August 10th, Funcom is in the process of reducing operational costs and this process includes temporary layoffs as well as other initiatives," reads a statement from the company. "As we are currently in the middle of this process we can not provide any further comment at the present time. Rest assured however that we have long-term plans for the company and that we remain fully committed to all of our games."
Funcom declined to clarify the number of employees affected, citing the ongoing nature of the cutbacks.
This is hardly the first time I've had to report of layoffs, but is still pretty disheartening to hear about it. Obviously, here at GameBanshee, we all hope that those who are affected will be able to find a new job sooner rather than later and get back on their feet.
Update: Funcom has confirmed the entity of the layoffs in their official statement (thanks GuiOhm):
As mentioned in the stock notice of 10 August 2012, Funcom has initiated a process to reduce operational costs following the launch of its most recent massively multiplayer online game 'The Secret World'. The process includes several initiatives such as layoffs and temporary layoffs of some employees in Montreal, Durham, Oslo and Beijing.
Some of these initiatives are part of normal procedure following the launch of a major project, such as adjustments to the customer service staffing based on the number of customers in the game as well as adjustments to the production team as the project goes into a post-launch phase following years of intense development. Many of those affected on the customer service team are on temporary contracts which is common for a live service such as 'The Secret World' where customer service demand shifts based on the game's population levels.
Around half of the company's personnel have been affected, with some departments being more affected than others. To make sure Funcom is in the best possible position to realize its plans for both existing games as well as future projects, the company is focusing on retaining as many as possible on the production teams.