37 out of 80 employees have been let go and the studio is going to be shifted towards developing digital titles.
Following earlier rumors, Sega has confirmed that it's in the process "restructuring" Sega Studios Australia. The publisher's laying off 37 of the 80 people employed at the studio, which is currently wrapping up the London 2012 - The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games (which is due out in June, and shouldn't be confused with the already released Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics).
Sega Studios Australia was formerly known as The Creative Assembly until it was re-branded last year (around the same time that London 2012 was announced). The studio is also known for having state-of-the-art motion capture facilities.
Below is Sega's public statement about the layoffs:
"As SEGA Studios Australia nears completion of London 2012 - The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games, it is essential to look to the future and take steps to ensure long-term growth and success. The rise of digital gaming provides an opportunity to align the studio with a rapidly growing market at a time when the games industry is undergoing a significant transition. To this end, we can confirm that SSA has signed a multi-product deal focussing across the digital marketplace. We have commenced development on these titles and will announce more details in the near future.
As part of this focus on digital avenues, there is a requirement to re-structure the studio resources accordingly and regrettably, we are announcing the loss of 37 staff. The decision to downsize was not taken lightly but this strategic re-structure will ensure we have a more effective and agile team that will enable us to quickly adapt to consumer needs and deliver strong content across multiple digital platforms. We thank those team members affected for their contributions and wish them well in their future endeavours. We are very confident that their efforts on London 2012 will help us deliver the highest quality official Olympic video game to date."
Exactly what kind of digital distribution titles Sega has planned haven't been revealed yet, obviously, but it seems safe to assume that Sega Studios Australia would be putting together titles that would take advantage of the aforementioned mo-cap technology.
Hopefully everyone laid off lands on their feet soon.