PlayStation Studios

Sony has today confirmed around 900 PlayStation employees — or around eight per cent of its workforce — are being laid off in order to "future ready ourselves to set the business up for what lies ahead". As a result of the downsizing, PlayStation's own London Studio is being closed completely and Firesprite will be reduced in size. The staff reductions will also hit Naughty Dog, Insomniac Games, and Guerrilla Games. Some unannounced games have been cancelled.

The soon-to-be departing president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan, explained: "The PlayStation community means everything to us, so I felt it was important to update you on a difficult day at our company. We have made the extremely hard decision to announce our plan to commence a reduction of our overall headcount globally by about 8% or about 900 people, subject to local law and consultation processes. Employees across the globe, including our studios, are impacted."

Ryan says that the gaming industry has changed "immensely" and so Sony needs to "future ready" itself for the coming years. "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."

In an internal email shared by Ryan, it's stated "several PlayStation Studios are affected", which includes the closure of London Studio and the downsizing of Firesprite. The former had been working on a fantasy-based online co-op game, while the latter hasn't released a new game since being acquired.

Workers losing their jobs in the USA will be informed today, to whom Ryan says: "You are leaving this company with our deepest respect and appreciation for all your efforts during your tenure." He continues: "This will not be easy, and I am aware of the impact it will have on wellbeing. Affected employees will receive support, including severance benefits. While these are challenging times, it is not indicative of a lack of strength of our company, our brand, or our industry."