Sony Interactive Entertainment Announces 900 Job Cuts, Includes Worldwide PlayStation

Sony Interactive Leisure Declares 900 Process Cuts, Contains International PlayStation Studios

Today, Sony Interactive Entertainment declared that it is joining other major players in the gaming sector in reducing its number of employees, revealing plans to cut approximately 900 jobs worldwide.

Outgoing President Jim Ryan and the head of PlayStation Studios, Hermen Hulst, both made public statements announcing layoffs which comprise 8% of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE’s) total global staff, which is roughly 12,000 people. These job reductions are impacting every division within SIE, covering PlayStation Studios as well.

The decision follows a less optimistic projection for PlayStation 5 sales based on the third quarter of 2023 (from October to December) results. Despite achieving a record-breaking quarter with sales of 8.2 million PS5 units, positioning the console for an unprecedented year, Sony has reduced its sales expectations for the fiscal year 2023-2024 from 25 million to 21 million units.

This has prompted SIE to reconsider its business approach, with Ryan stating in a memo to employees that after considering the changing economic environment, the new methods by which we create, release, and market products, and the importance of preparing our company for the quickly shifting industry, we’ve determined that making difficult choices is unavoidable.

The most drastic reduction is happening in the UK, where the renowned London Studio is earmarked for complete shutdown. Established through the consolidation of Psygnosis’s Camden Studio, which was responsible for the Lemmings game, and Team Soho, the developer behind The Getaway, London Studio gained the most recognition for developing PlayStation Home. It also produced various SingStar games and projects for the EyeToy and PlayStation VR platforms.

Firesprite is another British studio that has faced implications; it emerged from the remnants of Sony’s Studio Liverpool, previously known as Psygnosis, which was shut down in 2012. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) purchased Firesprite in 2021, and the studio collaborated with Guerrilla Games to develop the Horizon: Call of the Mountain game for PlayStation VR2. Guerrilla will also experience workforce cuts, in addition to downsizing in different roles throughout SIE’s UK operations.

Job cuts are expected at Insomniac Games, known for titles like Ratchet & Clank and Marvel’s Spider-Man, as well as at Naughty Dog, the creators of The Last of Us and Uncharted, within the United States. Additionally, there will be unspecified reductions in the “Technology, Creative, and Support teams.”

Additional reductions in staff have been characterized as “minor” and are taking place at various global teams, with Japan being among those impacted. Considering PlayStation Studios has just two subsidiaries in Japan – Team Asobi, known for Astro’s Playroom, and Polyphony Digital, the creators of Gran Turismo – these downsizings may potentially influence the continued updates and advancement of Gran Turismo 7, as well as the production of future titles in the series.

The announcement as described by Hulst also contains a statement that the publisher has reviewed ongoing projects and decided to cancel some of them. This decision will certainly impact the projects at London Studio and could possibly influence various other games within the organization. Considering the commercial success of GT7, it seems probable that a future sequel would be protected from being discontinued.

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