Sony Axes 205 Jobs in West; Closes Bellevue Game Office, Other Work Shifts to San Diego

A downer in local tech-job news: Sony Online Entertainment is closing its game development office in Bellevue, WA, part of a broader downsizing that also includes the shutdown of offices in Denver, CO and Tucson, AZ. The company’s statement also says it is stopping work on the undelivered game “The Agency” to focus efforts on new massively multiplayer online games. A total of 205 jobs are being cut, the company said, although it didn’t say how many were from each location.

The Seattle Times’ Brier Dudley notes that “Sony spent millions on the game and at one point employed more than 100 developers at the Bellevue studio,” including some lured over from Microsoft to start the office in the fall of 2004. Neither the Times nor GeekWire could get a definitive answer from Sony on how many jobs would be lost in the Seattle area.

Sony’s statement said the development work from the Denver and Tucson offices is being transferred to the San Diego, CA headquarters. The Sony Online Entertainment site still had a blurb about “The Agency” on its site as of Thursday evening, describing it as a chance to “live the life of an elite agent in a world of superspies and rugged mercenaries, who use both high technology and low tactics to accomplish their missions and goals.” The release date was listed as TBA.

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