Richard Garriott's Austin, Texas-based social game development studio Portalarium has laid off an unknown number of employees, according to published reports. News of the layoffs surfaced on Friday via Twitter when Portalarium senior programmer Paul Evans tweeted the following:
"Today [Portalarium] had to lay off people and I was one of them."
Evans, who prior to joining the company in July 2011 was a programmer at Lionhead, also noted that the layoffs were a "surprise" to the employees affected and that the company's management, "could've been better prepared with more notice."
Portalarium was founded by veteran designer and Ultima creator Richard Garriott in 2009. The studio's first social game, Ultimate Collector, had a soft launch on Facebook and Zynga.com in November, and had partnerships with retailer Macy's and book publisher Simon & Schuster.
Portalarium has managed to raise $7 million in funding from various investors.
We'll have more details on this story as more information becomes available. The company has not publicly commented on this story.
Update: We edited the sentence about the amount of funding the company has received at the request or Portalarium.