Sony is laying off 900 people at PlayStation, shutting down London Studio entirely – WGB

By admin Feb28,2024

Jim Ryan, the soon to be former President & CEO of PlayStation, has issued a statement announcing that Sony is sacking some 900 people at PlayStation, accounting for 8% of its overall workforce.

“These are incredibly talented people who have been part of our success, and we are very grateful for their contributions.” said Jim Ryan. “However, the industry has changed immensely, and we need to future ready ourselves to set the business up for what lies ahead. We need to deliver on expectations from developers and gamers and continue to propel future technology in gaming, so we took a step back to ensure we are set up to continue bringing the best gaming experiences to the community. “

Ryan also shared an Email sent to all employees in which he writes: “After careful consideration and many leadership discussions over several months, it has become clear changes need to be made to continue to grow the business and develop the company. We had to step back, look at our business holistically, and move forward focusing on the long-term sustainability of the company and delivering the best experiences possible for our community. The goal is to streamline our resources to ensure our continued success and ability to deliver experiences gamers and creators have come to expect from us.”  

In the Email Ryan talked more about UK specific plans. He mentioned that it has been proposed that PlayStation Studios’ London Studio will be shuttered. Reductions at Firesprite and Guerrilla are also being proposed.

“This will not be easy, and I am aware of the impact it will have on wellbeing. Affected employees will receive support, including severance benefits. While these are challenging times, it is not indicative of a lack of strength of our company, our brand, or our industry. Our goal is to remain agile and adaptable and to continue to focus on delivering the best gaming experiences possible now and in the future.” wrote Ryan.

Hermen Hulst, Head of PlayStation Studios, also issued a statement that address the layoffs, confirming that Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog will be affected. “These are in addition to some smaller reductions in other teams across PlayStation Studios.” he said.

Hulst also stated that several projects have been cancelled, but did not provide any further details on what they may have been or what developers were working on them.

We looked at our studios and our portfolio, evaluating projects in various stages of development, and have decided that some of those projects will not move forward. 

“I want to be clear that the decision to stop work on these projects is not a reflection on the talent or passion of team members. ” said Hulst. “Our philosophy has always been to allow creative experimentation. Sometimes, great ideas don’t become great games. Sometimes, a project is started with the best intentions before shifts within the market or industry result in a change of plan. “

Hiroki Totoki will takeover as Interim CEO of SIE on April 1st.

Jim Ryan will soon be stepping down as the head honcho at PlayStation and is being replaced by Hiroki Totoki.

These layoffs are presumably tied to Sony’s recent financial report where they revealed that the company’s margins are getting a little tight, despite their overall income increasing. The new CEO will be aiming to address this, and already has to a degree when he specifically talked about Bungie.

“I visited the Bungie studios and had meetings with management, and I saw that employees working at the studios were highly motivated, showing great creativity as well as an impressive knowledge of live services,” said Totoki.

“However, I also felt that there was room for improvement from a business perspective with regard to areas such as the use of business expenses and assuming accountability for development timelines. I hope to continue the dialogue and come up with some good solutions.”

Bungie was previously reported to have a major role in the cancellation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us multiplayer project.

According to Game Industry Layoffs, this year has already seen an estimated 6,000 people lose their jobs, and it looks like those numbers are only the beginning as the industry faces the burst of the COVID bubble where low-interest loans and a boom in gaming encouraged companies to expand quickly.

By admin

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