Trion Worlds studios hit with substantial layoffs

UPDATE: Trion tells us the layoffs were not as bad as IGN's sources indicated: "up to half of the company was not affected by the reduction," and reports of some employees being escorted out of the studio and others not receiving severance are false. The original story follows below.

The company behind Defiance and Rift has "adjusted [its] staffing levels" and anonymous sources claim half to four-fifths of the company's staff were laid off. IGN broke the news, saying Trion's San Diego studio, which was primarily responsible for work on Defiance, was hit the hardest.

IGN's sources say employees are being escorted from the premises, and that certain senior leaders may not receive severance because of "undelivered services."

Trion avoided numbers in its official response, but did acknowledge some staffing changes have been made within its three studios:

"To best position Trion in a rapidly changing industry, we have reorganized our teams and are expanding our free to play offering. With Defiance, we delivered a great game that more than one million gamers registered to play and continue to enjoy. As we progress from launch to ongoing development of the game, we are adjusting our staffing levels to deliver new content and improved features. Rift, and our other titles in development, were unaffected by these changes. We are very much looking forward to the free to play release of Rift and are excited by the other new titles currently in development."

Trion Worlds also laid off as many as 40 Rift developers in December. Defiance's SyFy network television show was greenlit for a second season last week.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.