Despite the runaway success of Free Realms and the growing anticipation for DC Universe Online, Sony Online Entertainment feels the layoff lash, confirming a 5% workforce reduction with Kotaku.

Upon getting word of the layoffs from IndustryGamers, we contacted our SOE rep to see if we could glean any more information regarding the layoffs, which have eliminated 41 full-time employees. SOE quickly shot back the same official statement the other site received.

In a move to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs, Sony Online Entertainment has eliminated 5% of its full-time workforce, equaling 41 people. SOE looks forward to continuing its leadership role in the online games industry as it celebrates the highly successful launch of Free Realms, the 10-year commemoration of its ground-breaking EverQuest franchise, and the continued performance of the company's other games.

And that's all they wrote. The layoffs should not affect the operation of any existing SOE titles, or the development of games like The Agency and DCU. We wish the 41 recently-unemployed industry professionals the best of luck.

Sony Online Entertainment Hit With Layoffs [IndustryGamers]