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PlayStation Cutting 900 Jobs And Cancelling Games, Affecting Spider-Man, Last Of Us, And Horizon Developers

Insomniac, Guerrilla, Naughty Dog, Firesprite, and other teams are facing layoffs.


Sony's PlayStation division is cutting jobs in the latest round of high-profile layoffs in the video game industry. By some estimations, 2024 has already seen more than 7,000 video game industry layoffs. Reporter Jason Schreier of Bloomberg was first to reveal the cuts, which have subsequently been confirmed by Sony in a blog post.

Related to these moves, PlayStation is proposing to close its London games studio, which was most recently responsible for developing PlayStation VR games. Cuts are also coming to Sony's other studios, including Firesprite, Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, and Guerrilla. PlayStation's technology, creative, and support teams are also affected by these measures.

Additionally, SIE is cancelling some games. "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," the company said, though it did not name them outright.

One of the cancelled games was a Twisted Metal live-service project, according to Schreier, though this game was very early in development and not even greenlit yet.

In a blog post, outgoing SIE CEO Jim Ryan said it was an "extremely hard decision" to make these cuts, which amount to 900 people or about 8% of PlayStation. Ryan is leaving in March.

"These are incredibly talented people who have been part of our success, and we are very grateful for their contributions. However, the industry has changed immensely, and we need to future ready ourselves to set the business up for what lies ahead," he added. "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 said in a memo to staff that layoffs are coming to every major SIE region, including the Americas, EMEA, Japan, and APAC. He also confirmed that, in the UK, Sony is proposing to close its London Studio "in its entirety" and make cuts at Firesprite. There will also be "reductions" to "various functions" across SIE's teams in the UK.

"For those who will be leaving SIE: You are leaving this company with our deepest respect and appreciation for all your efforts during your tenure," Ryan said. "For those who will be staying at SIE: We will be saying goodbye to friends and colleagues that we cherish during this process, and this will be painful. Your resilience, sensitivity, and adaptiveness will be critical in the weeks and months to come."

Affected staffers are getting severance benefits, Ryan added. "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," Ryan said.

The executive said management has been having discussions "over the past few months" regarding the "evolving economic landscape," as well as changes to how SIE develops, distributes, and launches games. Based on these talks, Ryan said "tough decisions have become inevitable."

PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst said in his own blog post, "PlayStation 5 is in its fourth year, and we are at a stage where we need to step back and look at what our business needs."

Sony recently held an earnings briefing where it announced that it's lowering PS5 sales targets. After this, Sony's stock value--on paper--lost $10 billion in value. During an earnings call, Sony's president said the company wanted to be "aggressive on improving" profit margins.

Earlier this week, Until Dawn and The Quarry developer Supermassive announced mass layoffs. Microsoft cut 1,900 positions at Xbox earlier this year, and Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said the cuts were necessary to improve shareholder value. Twitch, meanwhile, laid off 500 people, while Riot laid off around that number as well.

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