Layoffs hit Daybreak; former boss says 70 lose jobs

Daybreak Game Company, maker of DC Universe Online, Planetside 2 and the Everquest franchise, laid off a substantial number of workers today, according to reports and social media posts, including one from its former president.

John Smedley, the founder of the company (which became Sony Online Entertainment and later Daybreak) said on Twitter that the company had fired 70 workers, which he estimated to be a third of its workforce.

In a statement to Polygon, a Daybreak Game Company representative did not comment on the size of the layoffs but said the studio is “optimizing our structure to ensure we best position ourselves for continued success in the years to come.

“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,” the representative said. “As we look to improve efficiencies and realign resources, we remain focused on supporting our existing games and development of our future titles.”

Other social media posts said that the majority of the layoffs hit Daybreak’s Austin, Texas office, Daybreak is headquartered in San Diego. The company, in a statement to Variety, denied that the Texas office was closing.

Smedley, who had a reputation for social media outspokenness before he left Daybreak in 2015, ripped his former company for the timing of the dismissals:

Daybreak also cut workers from its San Diego office back in April, VentureBeat reported at the time. More recently, the Daybreak-backed esports league for H1Z1 (which the company makes) went defunct mid-season; the co-chairman cited H1Z1’s declining overall player population as a significant reason for ending the schedule early.

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