Trion Worlds have laid off 15 employees in several different jobs - developers, community managers, you name it. The layoffs happened just eight days after the launch of their latest game, Defiance 2050, but the that may not be the reason.
Trion Worlds CEO, Scott Hartsman, confirmed the layoffs to Gamasutra and stated that the decision wasn't made because of their performance or Trion Worlds as a whole, but rather as a necessity for the studio to step towards developing the studio's upcoming projects.
He added that each of the former employees will be offered severance benefits as well as assistance in job placement. It seems that Hartsman's words ring true as Trion Worlds doesn't seem to be suffering financially as they acquired the assets of Gazillion Entertainment recently, which was shut down during the holiday season in 2017.
Back at the time of acquisition, Hartsman commented on Gazillion's troubles before shut down by saying "crunch and burn and lay off is unhealthy" and that Trion and other developers want to have a sustainable life cycle that will allow them to keep making games. This round of layoffs may be part of the strategy, as they didn't really attempt to hide it.
While the layoffs happened just after Defiance 2050's launch, it's arguably not the problem here since the game has managed to find enough players that remain with it, and most commenters on former employees' Twitter accounts state that ArcheAge is actually the culprit and that the game has been "dead for a long time". It is also a well known fact that ArcheAge went through community managers like Taylor Swift through boyfriends. The game didn't write any song on its CMs though.
The employees that lost their jobs don't seem to harbour any bad feelings as they have left goodbye notes on both Twitter and Trion Worlds' forums that sounded rather friendly, getting supportive and friendly replies from their former colleagues. It certainly looks better than going berserk on former employers after calling fans rando asshats.