38 people have been laid off from Red Storm Entertainment, the studio best known for creating the Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon franchises.
The surprise news out of the North Carolina-based studio is the result of "a realignment of production priorities," according to a statement from Ubisoft, which acquired Red Storm in 2000. "The decision to realign the team allows Red Storm to focus on its core strength: developing innovative multiplayer experiences."
Despite the layoffs, the company said Red Storm itself isn't going anywhere. "Red Storm remains an integral part of Ubisoft's worldwide production team," the statement continued. "Those employees [affected by the layoffs] have the opportunity to consider positions in other Ubisoft studios."
Red Storm Entertainment was founded in 1996 and quickly established itself in the industry with the 1998 release of the groundbreaking tactical FPS Rainbow Six. In 2001 it launched its most successful franchise, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon. Red Storm's most recent titles include Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 and America's Army: True Soldiers.
Red Storm is currently at work on the mulitplayer component of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier, which will not be affected by the cuts. The Escapist Editor-in-Chief Russ Pitts revealed that as recently as his latest visit to Red Storm, in November of 2009, the studio also "had an entire team working on a secret, internally developed new IP that they were very excited about and were expecting to release in 2010 or 2011." How that project will be affected by the layoffs is currently unknown.