SOE has just announced layoffs to an undetermined number of presumably MMO-related staff. Head of community management Brasse confirmed earlier rumors on the EverQuest II official forums:
Today we announced a reduction in our workforce at SOE. As a company, our goal is to focus on our core expertise of MMO games and as part of these efforts, we had to make the difficult decision to eliminate positions to help reduce costs, streamline our employee base and strategically align resources towards our current portfolio of games and upcoming slate of MMOs, including EverQuest Next Landmark and EverQuest Next. We deeply value our employees and are grateful for all they've contributed to our company and games. They will be missed by colleagues and friends, and we wish them well in the future.We have contacted SOE for clarification on which MMOs are impacted by these layoffs and will update when we know more.
[Thanks to Jeremy for the tip.]
[Update: While SOE has declined to officially comment further, an unnamed Gamasutra source claims "the layoffs affect both its San Diego and Austin offices." SOE president John Smedley tweeted his condolences, posting, "Sorry to say that we did have layoffs. We're still moving forward with all our current games and games in development including EverQuest Next and other unannounced titles. The people who got laid off are very good people. Very sorry this happened. Layoffs suck. These are really, really good people who don't deserve this."]