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SOE layoffs affect timetable for PlanetSide Next [Updated]

Last week we got the bad news that Sony Online Entertainment laid off 205 employees and shuttered the Denver, Seattle, and Tucson studios. The announcement was coupled with the news that that The Agency, the long-anticipated "spy-fi" MMO, was also being canceled. The intent, SOE said, was to focus on its upcoming MMOs based on its extant IPs: PlanetSide Next and EverQuest Next.

However, in the wake of all the layoffs, there will also apparently be a delay in the development time-frame for PlanetSide Next. According to a statement by John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, the game "will be out a little later in the year" but the team is focused on "pulling out all the stops to make it great." It's sad news, but we're certain that a lot of PlanetSide fans would rather have a great, polished game over a game pushed out quickly to meet a now-unrealistic development schedule.

Update: SOE's John Smedley has posted several reassuring comments to the PlanetSide Universe forums:
Recently (a few weeks ago actually) we made the call to update the game to a new internally developed engine. Doing that meant delaying the game, but we thought it was in the best interests of PlanetSide Next. It also means delaying releasing further info for a little while. I will let you all know more when we firm up the schedule. The likely next step is a larger scale release of information and the beta signups going up. As I've said previously current Planetside subs will be included automatically.
Normally when we do game announcements we do a much bigger concerted information push all at once and these kind of one off posts don't happen. In this case I feel like the PlanetSide audience has hung in with us for a long time and I really want to involve you all more in advance of the official info. However what happens is everything gets carried across the net and the actual info gets changed. I'm sorry for that happening. We will do our best to keep you informed early. But that necessarily means that sometimes when things change you have to be ready for that too.
(Thanks to Matt for the tip!)

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