MMO developer Funcom insists that it has laid off just fewer than 50 percent of its staff at its Oslo, Norway studio, despite reports that the number of layoffs is higher. The company revealed late last month that it would be focusing on games that had shorter development times built by smaller teams. The move was a reaction to poor performance of its latest MMORPG, The Secret World.
A spokesperson for the company told Develop that no one had been laid off at the Norway-based office, and hoped those employees who had been "temporarily let go" would be back to work as soon as possible. The spokesperson did not provide a time frame for when those who were temporarily laid off would be able to return to work at the company.
The word that layoffs might have been higher at the studio came from Secret World lead designer Martin Bruusgaard, who was put on forced leave, that a majority of the studio had been let go. Having chosen to leave the studio permanently, Bruusgaard decided that he would not be returning to Funcom – instead taking a job outside the video game industry.