Infamous Developer Sucker Punch Experiences Layoffs

Sony confirms "a reduction in workforce" at Sucker Punch Productions.

Developer Sucker Punch Productions has suffered layoffs today, IGN has reported. In a statement issued to the publication, Sony Computer Entertainment America confirmed "a reduction in workforce" at the studio, which includes staff who worked on the Infamous and Sly Cooper series. It is unknown how many staff were affected by the change. GameSpot has reached out to Sony, who were unavailable for comment.

Wholly owned by Sony, the studio has worked on various games exclusive to PlayStation consoles. Most recently, the studio released Infamous: Second Son for the PlayStation 4. A standalone expansion for the game titled Infamous: First Light was announced at E3 this year and is scheduled to launch on August 26 in North America and August 27 on Europe.

Sucker Punch was founded in 1997 and released its first game, Rocket: Robot on Wheels, in 1999. The studio was brought on as a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment in 2000, where it went on to make stealth-platformer game series Sly Cooper.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

Zorine

Zorine Te

Zorine “harli” Te is an Associate Editor at GameSpot and is based in Australia.
inFamous: Second Son

inFamous: Second Son

Follow
126 comments
AceRoccola
AceRoccola

That's a shame. I wasn't big on Infamous 2, but the first game was great. And Second Son really surprised me. It's easily one of the best games to have come out for this generation.


Good developers just keep shrinking and dying. All we'll have left soon is puzzle games on our phones.

ascendedcobra
ascendedcobra

Infamous was great. Who the heck thinks it was rushed? The game was super polished.

hystavito
hystavito

@ascendedcobra I wasn't too impressed with it, other than the graphics it didn't really feel very next gen-y to me.  The random citizen AI did almost nothing, there was very little interaction with the world, overall just felt meh to me and I got bored with it fairly quick, maybe I will finish it at some point.  It's similar to the way the recent cross gen open world games are kinda same old.


Being exclusive to next gen I was really hoping for more than a simple graphics boost.  I don't know if I'd want to use the word rushed to describe it, but I will say I think less time and effort went into than should have because they wanted it to be a launch title.

nurnberg
nurnberg

I don't think it is because they are in financial trouble.  Infamous (the last one) was a successful game.

RicanV
RicanV moderator moderator

@nurnberg It's not. Usually when a game is done or finished they'll have some layoffs. It's not coincidence that this news comes so near to the release of the Infamous DLC second light.

gajbutler
gajbutler

Sony first party continues to get weaker.

Ovirew
Ovirew

I think Second Son was a little bit rushed.  It wasn't a bad game, and Delsin was a million times better than Cole, but it didn't feel like an improvement on the previous games.

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

It honestly wasn't that great. Way too Short and story was too cliché. Beat at twice (Good/Bad)  in a mere 3 days and has absolutely no replay value after the second time.  It did satisfy me at the time however but I wished there was a lot more.


Did not disappoint me as much as Watch Dogs though.

lovely_dime
lovely_dime

Second son was a great game and Gamespots PC gaming trollls love to bash it. Sit down you cheap pirating nobodies who are not really gamers, just lurk media websites all day.

donjuancorleone
donjuancorleone

@lovely_dime i dont know about great, it was good. Not great. I finished it way too easily and while it did look beautiful it was like it had no soul.

bdrtfm
bdrtfm

@lovely_dime  lol. Only a fool thinks his opinion is the only one that matters. You thought the game was great. That's good. Glad you enjoyed it. Doesn't mean anyone who didn't enjoy it is a cheap, pirating, nobody tr0ll. You take f@nboyism to an all new level.

Stogin
Stogin

@bdrtfm Seeing as tho I've seen you post some severe fanboy rants, you have some balls saying that...

smackdowner360
smackdowner360

Second son was horrible and it flopped so this doesn't surprise me at all.Even after all the hype sony put behind it counldn't save that game

stickybun
stickybun

@smackdowner360 Actually it sold really well in spite of it's mediocre gameplay. I think the layoffs are fairly common between projects. This isn't because of poor sales.

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator moderator

@stickybun @smackdowner360 Exactly. This is a standard of the industry. You don't need a lot of positions during certain stages of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle.) It seems these things get reported just to get everyone in a fuss who doesn't understand this.

Lacerz
Lacerz

Ramp up for production, scale back after release.  Welcome to the gaming industry folks.

bdrtfm
bdrtfm

Sad to see when people lose their job but, isn't' this pretty much standard? Hire a bunch of people to work on a new game. Release the game. Support the game with patches for awhile. Lay off surplus staff. Hire new temporary staff when it's time to start making another game.

guantaco
guantaco

But the problem as the articles states is that affects people that have worked there since sly cooper was released. How long have they been there to get laid off now. That's not normal cycle of development.

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator moderator

@guantaco So the lady that answers the phone and had been there for years was let go as they got an automated system. This was just an example, but what I'm trying to get across is that there are no solid facts at all except some people were laid off, which is extremely common during this phase of game development.

Fursnake
Fursnake

Sucks to hear this and bummed for the folks at Sucker Punch that got laid off, But to the folks at Sucker Punch, kudos for making a good game, I am enjoying it more than the previous ones.

Shango4
Shango4

I'm sure the xbots will take this and make some big thing about sony and it's financial situation lol. Normal thing for almost any industry after big projects are done you layoff or worse let go of non essential employees until the next game/project.

isane-bishop
isane-bishop

@Shango4 You Sony fanboys do the same crap if this happen to Microsoft!! Sony fanboy!

suicidesn0wman
suicidesn0wman

@Shango4 Its a shame that sony fanboys back themselves into a corner for their console and miss out on so many great games on the other systems.  

suicidesn0wman
suicidesn0wman

@horizonwriter @suicidesn0wman @Shango4 Depends on the degree of fanboyism, I myself am an Xbox fanboy, have been for many years.  However I do not take it so seriously that I spend all of my energy trolling Sony's fanboys, nor did I let it prevent me from experiencing this specific game which I felt was one of the best I had played in a long time.


I just wish that some of the extremists were a fan of the game first and console second.

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

@Shango4 @suicidesn0wman  speak for yourself.  If you truly believe there aren't great games on other systems than you're just a delusional fanboy.  I believe every console has at least 5 games worth playing, even the X1, despite my strong dislike for anything Microsoft. 

oflow
oflow

@Shango4 Stop dragging MS fans into everything bad that happens at Sony. 

mark5225
mark5225

People find some way to blame sony for sucker punch layoffs. This is the gaming industry after iss and first light are done theirs no point in keeping a ton of animators and artists with no project to work on. As a person starting out in the gaming industry that's what happens that's why you see more and more indie studios now. People get sick off layoffs and link up and start their own thing. Being a low totem pole development team member for a big game is like working for a higher pay temp or contractor eventually it expires but that is some great experience on a resume.

ExoticCharm
ExoticCharm

@mark5225 So you are saying that we shouldn't blame Sony because layoffs are a common practice in these cases, then you say that the layoffs are because they aren't given a project to work on.  Wouldn't Sony be in charge of funding their projects, which would mean that Sony is ACTUALLY responsible for the layoffs?

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@ExoticCharm @mark5225 No, because a company can only fund so many projects and right now there are ALOT of studios working on just Sony games. Besides, Sony doesn't typical hand devs projects. Usually (and I emphasize usually) a studio will come up with a project and take it to Sony for approval and/or financial backing. The only reason that would have been different in the past two years or so is because Sony needed developers to come up with something to show of the new console so they may have been more aggressive with the studios under its umbrella.

mark5225
mark5225

I'm not even gonna respond to your bs comment their is no hope for you.

rolla020980
rolla020980

@horizonwriter @ExoticCharm @mark5225 

Sounds like Sony might need to consolidate their studios a little. Everyone should hate to see layoffs and I am no different, but if there are so many projects couldn't at least some of these people be utilized elsewhere?

oflow
oflow

@mark5225 Sony owns the studio who else are you going to blame, necessary or not?  Unless you are like half the Sony fans around here that somehow find a way to blame MS for everything.

archav3n
archav3n

This is the industry for you. Corporate reap profits then lay offs. That is why people should support the developers and not the greedy corporate giants Microsoft & Sony.

StickyJr1
StickyJr1

@archav3n  The developers don't have to work for the big corporations.  If it was an unbearable situation, companies like Sony and Microsoft wouldn't be able to hire or retain developers for their studios.


Ultimately, when the development house is a subsidiary of a large publisher, the publisher is the one taking all the risk related to the development, advertising, and distribution of games.  Why shouldn't they 'reap the profits' from the risk they've assumed?

Splincir
Splincir

I bet they're wishing Sony didn't buy them for exclusivity now... oh wait that's right Sony doesn't do that. (except they did, and still do)


On a more serious note, sucks for the guys and gals working there. I went through the same thing just before the release of a little game called Borderlands.

oflow
oflow

@Splincir Yep the only reason they arent doing it more right now is because Sony is saving money after restructuring.  Its kind of comical watching the Sony fans get mad at MS for buying exclusives, when Sony does the same thing and the only reason they arent doing it more right now is because its not part of their current business strat.

It sucks to get laid off (having been laid off from two jobs myself over the years) but this type of thing happens all the time in the gaming industry and the people in that industry have to know its a reality of their business and they choose to woork in that industry so it goes with the territory.

rolla020980
rolla020980

@oflow @Splincir 

But it shouldn't Sony has other studios that I am sure could have used the help and if not, then why hire them in the first place? A job that has a defined start and end should be a contract position. Having contracts expire is much better PR than announcing layoffs.

demondogx
demondogx

Sony, as someone who went from 360 to ps4 i must say, how about you stop taking exclusives, as we do not win with that, we would have gotten that content anyway, and you use that money you spend on those exclusives and spend it on making sure developers do not loose their jobs

unreal849
unreal849

Well that's no good. Sony can't expect to keep cutting people and for quality to remain the same.

nparks
nparks

Sucker Punch:  Why Sony?  Wasn't Infamous good?  We thought it was good.

Sony:  We don't need to buy exclusives anymore.

endorbr
endorbr

Nothing new.  Happens with pretty much every developer after the completion of a project.  No need to maintain the full staffing levels at the start of their next project as it will be years before a lot of those positions will be needed again, especially for developers that are only working on one project at a time.  It's the industry these people work and its why they change jobs a lot.  It means nothing about the position of Sucker Punch or Sony and I honestly don't feel sorry for people "losing" their job when they knew when they got into their career exactly what the industry is like and that these kinds of positions 9/10 are temporary.  Also this isn't exactly anything particularly special to the gaming industry.  It's how most contract or temp positions work in any industry.

endorbr
endorbr

@homelessgamer I wouldn't say this is why.  We've moved beyond the days of 6 guys developing games in a garage for the majority of games.  The reason why a lot of games are basically the same old formula and "crap" is because of corporate marketing mentality forcing its way into the development cycle.  The home office has ridiculous expectations on timeframe, staffing, and the ultimate deliverable and so they don't allow a lot of games to get the amount of funding, staffing, time, etc that they need to realize what is being promised.  It's a balancing act between publisher and developer and 9/10 it falls to the publisher side of the equation.