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Sony Online Entertainment is closing down game studios in Bellevue, Denver and Tucson, Arizona, a move which will eliminate 205 jobs. The company also said that it would discontinue development on “The Agency,” an online spy game which had been highly touted.

It is unclear how many people will lose their jobs in Seattle. The Seattle Times reports that the company once employed more than 100 people at its offices in Bellevue, but a spokeswoman at the company declined to comment when asked by GeekWire how many people were losing their jobs in the Seattle area.

“This strategic alignment of development resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online gaming and deliver on its promise of creating entertaining games for players of all ages,” Sony Online Entertainment Taina Rodriguez said in a statement.

The gaming Web site Kotaku first reported on the cutbacks yesterday, and noted in a follow-up piece that the cancellation of The Agency came as a surprise.

Here’s the full statement from Sony Online:

As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions and close its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios.  As part of this restructuring, SOE is discontinuing production of The Agency so it can focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties, while also maintaining its current portfolio of online games.  All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate concern.

This strategic decision will have no impact on SOE’s current portfolio of live games; additionally SOE will transition development efforts for the Denver and Tucson studios’ suite of products to its San Diego headquarters.  This strategic alignment of development resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online gaming and deliver on its promise of creating entertaining games for players of all ages, and servicing the 20 million players that visited SOE servers in just the past year.

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