GameBaba Universe

Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan announced today that PlayStation is set to lay off 900 people or around 8% of its workforce across all SIE regions including Americas, EMEA, Japan, and APAC. The community update was shared in a blog post titled “Difficult News About Our Workforce”.

Massive PlayStation Layoff Will Affect 900 Or 8% Of Workforce. London Studio Shuttered!

Jim Ryan, PlayStation president and CEO

Ryan described today as “a difficult day at our company” and called the layoff an “extremely hard decision”. The layoff will impact employees around the globe including in the company’s first-party studio.

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“These are incredibly talented people who have been part of our success, and we are very grateful for their contributions,” Ryan said. “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.”

Massive PlayStation Layoff Will Affect 900 Or 8% Of Workforce. London Studio Shuttered!

In the post, Ryan also shared a copy of the email that was sent to employees which provided context to the layoff. In the staff email, Ryan said the restructuring was inevitable and that the company’s “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”.

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This announcement arguably becomes the first layoff to hit game workers in Japan—a region that has been hitherto immune to the ongoing wave of layoffs in the gaming industry. Details of the extent of the restructuring were shared in the internal email sent to staff as highlighted below.

  • Several PlayStation Studios will be affected
  • The PlayStation Studios’ London Studio will be shuttered in its entirety, meaning all the employees in the studio will be made redundant. According to LinkedIn, PlayStation London Studio has 51 to 200 employees. GameBaba Universe spotted 116 profiles associated with PlayStation London Studio.
  • Layoffs will happen in Guerrilla and Firesprite studio, the studio behind Horizon Call of the Mountain
  • Impacted US employees will be notified today

Massive PlayStation Layoff Will Affect 900 Or 8% Of Workforce. London Studio Shuttered!

In the UK, Sony will enter a period of collective consultation with all affected employees before a final decision is made—in line with the UK labor law. In Japan, Sony “will implement a next career support program” while in other countries the company will start discussions with those who are impacted or potentially at risk.

PlayStation Studios provided further updates on the matter

The message from Ryan did not detail all the studios that will be affected by the restructuring program at PlayStation. However, in an update, the head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst provided further details on the studios that will be impacted.

Massive PlayStation Layoff Will Affect 900 Or 8% Of Workforce. London Studio Shuttered!

Hermen Hulst, head of PlayStation Studios

“Today, Sony Interactive Entertainment initiated a reduction in our workforce – including within PlayStation Studios – and I wanted to talk about the impact that will have,” Hulst wrote.

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Marvel’s Spider-Man maker Insomniac Games, The Last of Us maker Naughty Dog, and PlayStation Studios technology, creative, and support teams will all experience layoffs. Hulst mentioned that these are in addition to smaller reductions in other teams across PlayStation Studios.

“Our goal at PlayStation Studios has always been to make the best games for PlayStation fans, and our global community of studios represents some of the most creative and talented teams within the gaming industry.”

Massive PlayStation Layoff Will Affect 900 Or 8% Of Workforce. London Studio Shuttered!

Hulst also mentioned that PlayStation Studios has reevaluated its portfolio and some games that are currently in development would be canceled.

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“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,” Hulst added. “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.”

Hulst did not mention the projects that have been canceled. However, Sony earlier canceled a live service adaptation of The Last of Us after a poor appraisal by Bungie. It will be interesting to see the list of projects that have been canceled.


Emecheta Christian

Emecheta Christian is an avid gamer with over 5 years in the industry. He is also a poet. It is therefore not surprising that his post sometimes read like poetry.

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