A few months back, it was reported that numerous European PlayStation employees had been laid off as part of a company-wide restructuring in an effort to centralise the business in the US. We've heard conflicting reports of whether this is actually true or not in the time since then, but for some developers and publishers based across Europe, it could actually be a reality. They are finding it tougher than ever to effectively communicate with Sony's EU branch, leading to many feeling like they have been completely left behind by the hardware manufacturer.
Whenever a developer agrees to join the PlayStation family and publish its games on the PSN Store, it is assigned an account manager depending on how many regions the studio wishes to publish in. That makes two for a team wishing to bring its games to EU and US shores, and the accounts of dealing with each region's representatives couldn't be further apart. Some European devs report of losing their account manager completely and having to resort to submitting support tickets.
Simply becoming recognised by Sony's European branch can be a tall order too, with one developer stating it took them multiple attempts inside a single month just to receive a response. A Sony development forum is where they voiced some frustration, but without a single reply to latch onto, they were once again left out in the cold. Things couldn't be more different when it comes to the US, however. Monthly newsletters alert studios to upcoming sales and allow them to submit forms with their games attached so that they can receive a discount in the future. Custom sales can also be applied for at a developer's leisure with a response all but guaranteed.
The same cannot be said for Europe, where this newsletter supposedly doesn't exist whatsoever. Teams have to actively ask when the next sale is coming up, and even when the automated response does occasionally provide answers, developers report that their titles aren't a part of the discounts. Cross-buy provides some extra headaches that a smaller studio probably doesn't have the time or money to deal with.
If Sony's European branches truly are scaling back in favour of a focus on the US, then this could be proof that it's already happening. PlayStation's PR outlets across America appear to be much more forthcoming for some developers when compared to EU spokespersons and account managers, but is there another reason which could be causing this? Only time will tell as Sony creates an all-new role for Shuhei Yoshida ahead of the PlayStation 5 to "look after and nurture" indie studios. Let's hope the European facing side of that team gets back in touch with those studios who feel they have been left behind.