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Reader Comments (35)

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 5:43PM CCon99 said

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Sony should review Smedley's salary, he would be my first to cut. You know he's pulling in at least 7 figures and profits have only gone down in recent years. The best business decision for Sony would be to release Smed and his salary, promote someone else who is only making half or less the money and see if they do a better job with that division of Sony.

God knows that new person couldn't do any worse then Smedley has done. I know he'll use his twitter posts about Free Realms having 5 million registered users as a defense, but there is a -HUGE- difference between 5 million SUBSCRIBERS and 5 million REGISTERED users.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 7:10PM Graill440 said

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"Our best and warmest wishes go out to those who have been affected by the layoffs and their families."

If they had fired 4 senior sony execs they wouldnt need to fire 41 folks, affecting all these families.

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 12:38AM (Unverified) said

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You think SOE Execs make 10X what a regular worker does? So, between $400 and $700k? That's completely ludicrous.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 12:35PM Itanius said

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It's a common misperception that all business executives rake in high dollar figures, and probably not an inaccurate one.

One would hope that in today's economical state, the balance of pay between different tiers of management has been adjusted accordingly, to prevent the inevitable backlash from the company's investors when something like this comes to light.
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Posted: Jul 17th 2009 7:39PM Mr Angry said

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I think this is game specific, as some teams have announced they are unaffected by redundancies, and others are being very quiet.... interesting!

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 8:21PM (Unverified) said

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"In a move to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs, Sony Online Entertainment has eliminated 5% of its full-time workforce, equaling 41 people."

Translation: Nobody got a pink slip! All 41 people still work there however they are now part-time employees. They work 39-hour weeks, can't claim overtime pay, don't receive full health benefits, can't contribute to company 401k, pension.

They may leave the company if they wish but quitting means they will NOT receive a separation settlement nor are they eligible to apply for unemployment compensation. If they agree to "tough it out", once the economy rebounds, all will be hired you back to full time!

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 5:48PM Evy said

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I hope that's not true. I've been there, and it -sucks-.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 12:02AM Temploiter said

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If they would just let go of Smedley they could have saved some of those other jobs, and perhaps hired the rest back once the ship was headed in the right direction again under some competent leadership. Cronyism, arrogance, and a complete disregard for clients is no way to run a serivice-oriented business.

Going from 36 professions to 9 "iconic" classes did wonders for SWG, maybe this New Staff Enhancement will do the same great things for SOE.

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 1:53AM (Unverified) said

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SOE now has roughly 775 employees remaining.

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 2:28AM MattNZ said

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SWG Devs posted that none of the SWG team was affected. I imagine it's the bigger teams like EQ and EQ2 that had the loss.

Posted: Jul 21st 2009 12:01PM (Unverified) said

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I would think SWG team would be bare bones already.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 3:30PM (Unverified) said

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it was the pr guy in Austin; he was responsible for the pr on DCU mainly, did a little SWG when he was needed. The other 40 came straight from the San Diego office.

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 3:32PM (Unverified) said

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also, i should point out im NOT that draakull. just didnt want him to get in trouble.

Posted: Jul 21st 2009 12:51PM (Unverified) said

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From my contact at SOE:

Each team was required to cut at least one person. Vanguard lost 2, EQ2 lost 1, EQ lost 3, SWG lost 2, and FR lost the vast majority of the rest.

And yes, they were almost entirely development positions. Janitors don't cost enough to warrant laying off.

No, Smed has not taken a pay cut, last I heard he was recently returning from a vacation at some random tropical island I can't spell.

No, they are not now "part-time" employees, they were laid off, not demoted.

It also says nothing of the dozens of contractors that have been let go/not had contracts renewed (most of which, again, come from FR).

While the executives may not make $700k (although, if I had to guesstimate based on their personal habits, I'd say most of the upper eschelon is making between $300 and $500k a year), there is a distinct difference between the Lambos, Porches and Ferraris they drive to work, and the Jettas, Civics, and Saturns that the rest of the development team arrives in. And, of course, when things go bad, it is never their fault (the management), they never take pay cuts, and they never get laid off.

This should be no surprise (at least from the FR side of things), it takes a significantly larger team to build and launch an MMO than it takes to maintain one.

Posted: Jul 24th 2009 2:48PM (Unverified) said

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Hmm. Seems to me that it's normal for game companies to lay off developers once big projects like Free Realms have reached completion. Or am I missing something here? I guess it's just the number ... 5% of your work force seems like quite a bit.

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