Sony Online Entertainment has confirmed reports that development of its planned spy MMO The Agency has been discontinued in a cost-cutting effort that sees three studios closed and 205 jobs lost.

"As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions and close its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios," read a statement handed to Eurogamer.

"As part of this restructuring, SOE is discontinuing production of The Agency so it can focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties, while also maintaining its current portfolio of online games.

"All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate concern.

"This strategic decision will have no impact on SOE's current portfolio of live games; additionally SOE will transition development efforts for the Denver and Tucson studios' suite of products to its San Diego headquarters," the statement continued.

"This strategic alignment of development resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online gaming and deliver on its promise of creating entertaining games for players of all ages, and servicing the 20 million players that visited SOE servers in just the past year."

Recent speculation has suggested that SOE has EverQuest 3 in the works, while PlanetSide Next – that's a working title – is due later this year.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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