U.K.-based RuneScape developer Jagex is cutting its staff, letting go of some of the team working on its free-to-play Transformers Universe game.  Transformers Universe has been in development since 2011, and the browser-based massively multiplayer tactical-action game went into open beta back in July this year. Jagex has big plans for the title, including bringing a range of brand-new Transformer toys to market with its partner and Transformers brand owner, Hasbro. With the game now approaching final release, the development team is apparently too large. While it’s not uncommon for game studios to lay off staff as a development cycle reaches its conclusion, that doesn’t make it any easier on those involved. 

“It is with regret that we can confirm some members of the Transformers Universe team will now be facing the possibility of redundancy,” Jagex told GamesIndustry.biz in a statement yesterday. “The proposed downsizing comes as the product reaches a new stage of development in its life cycle with a view to refining specific areas of gameplay for a live environment.  “Proposing to lay off staff is not something reached without due care and consideration and comes, in this instance, only at the end of a long period of deliberation. We remain grateful to all members of staff who will be affected by this process and would like to thank them for all of their work on the game.” 

Affected team members may find work on other Jagex projects, such as its enduring massively multiplayer online role-playing game, RuneScape, or its companion card Runescape 3 gold, Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, due out in 2015 on PC, Mac, tablet, and mobile platforms. Others face the prospect of finding a new job.  “Beyond internal relocation, every effort will be made to ensure that team members leaving the company do so in the best possible position to seek fresh employment,” said Jagex.