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GRTV News - PlayStation lays off around 8% of its total workforce

900 employees have lost their jobs as part of cost-cutting measures.

Audio transcription

"Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of GRTV News.
Yesterday on my latest episode I mentioned that we probably wouldn't be hearing the last of layoff news in regard to things happening before the end of this current fiscal year and well it's happened again and it's been a very... yesterday was not an easy day to get through in regard to news affecting the intelligent developers that make up the games industry because a lot of people lost their jobs yesterday or have been announced that they were going to be losing their jobs and yeah that's what we're going to talk about the big one today despite the fact there were some other ones as well that took place including over at Decknime where around 20% of that developer is going to be losing their jobs but anyway let's talk about the big one today with that being PlayStation."

"PlayStation laying off 900 people and closes its London studio this will no doubt slow the company's VR efforts.
It is no secret that it's been a very tough year for the gaming industry with many layoffs affecting both large and small developers and publishers and unfortunately 2024 has continued on the same theme with the brace of Microsoft and Unity laying off a large number of employees."

"Now it's apparently Sony's turn again having previously fired staff from Bungie and Naughty Dog among others.
Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier writes that 900 people will be laid off with their London studio being hit with a total shutdown which means a major setback for their VR venture and likely the cancellation of their live service fantasy project."

"Schreier adds among other divisions the layers will hit Insomniac, Spider-Man, Naughty Dog, The Last of Us and Guerrilla Horizon through the PlayStation's most successful subsidiaries.
A reasonable guess is that this is part of the effort to create higher profitability for Sony which reported such low margins and lower than expected console sales in the latest quarterly report that the share price fell by the equivalent of $10 billion and yes PlayStation London studio has been affected as well."

"Now the really sort of disappointing part about this news is that the repercussions it's going to have across Sony as a whole.
It's not just that people are losing their jobs, it's that we're seeing this affect significantly the pipeline of PlayStation's products."

"So if we go back over here now we can see Sony confers multiple game cancellations following Leos.
Various projects at different points of development have been axed.
A few hours ago it was revealed that Sony has announced a cost-cutting package at least in 900 of their employees being made redundant which has led to the closure of London Studio and Leos from Guerrilla, Insomniac and Naughty Dog."

"Now head of PlayStation Studios, Herman Holst has commented on the matter and confirms in a post that this is as feared means that development on several games will be shut down.
Holst writes that these are titles in various stages of development so it can be both those that have already come a long way in other projects that recently were started."

"Holst says we looked at our studios and our portfolio evaluating projects in various stages of development and decided that some of those projects will not move forward.
I want to be clear that the decisions to stop work on these projects is not a reflection of the talent or passion of team members."

"We'll never know about many of these lost titles but hopefully employees will be able to give us some more information via concept images and LinkedIn profiles in the near future.
I'm sure something that has appeared or has often appeared in other rounds of layoffs.
However, one of the games that has been accessed is a fantasy game developed by London Studio which they described as follows on their website."

"Our next project is an online combat game which as you can see here is set in a modern fantasy London.
The key fitting thing about it is that it's a PlayStation 5 title, it's not a VR game like our last title was and it's our most ambitious project to date."

"So, PlayStation is the latest one to be rocked.
It's 900 people losing their jobs or let's say around 900 people losing their jobs which is a lot of people, not as near as many as what we were affected with the Microsoft layoffs relatively recently or likewise as Jonas mentioned a few pieces earlier, the Unity layoffs as well but yes PlayStation is seeing massive layoffs, this is all on top as well of Supermassive seeing around 90 to 150 employees losing their jobs the day before, Deck 9 losing about 20% of its employees as well, Daigou Fabrique is stopping production of further games."

"It's been a pretty sad week already for the games industry and we're only on Wednesday so so far despite the fact that we're three days into the week around I would say at least a thousand people have lost their jobs.
Putting the total of redundancies so far this year it's getting very close towards 2023's total layoffs and 2023 was a tough year as well for a year that seemed incredibly tough for layoffs and already we're nearly at that same number and we're not even at the end of February yet but yes as I said yesterday I personally wouldn't expect to be surprised if there's even more layoff news coming this week and actually as well next month as well."

"As we get near the end of the fiscal year you see these big sort of parent companies and big publishers and major companies they have to balance their financial sheets else it looks bad to the big executives and the board and all that stuff so if they're not meeting the expected results they hit cost-cutting measures and usually this means people losing their jobs and the fiscal year ends at the end of March 2023 so I wouldn't be surprised if we see further layoffs before the end of the fiscal year but again no word on that just yet if anything happens we'll be sure to keep you posted and updated and otherwise if there are any more developments in regard to this and the things that are happening over at PlayStation we're sure to keep you posted and updated but otherwise that's all the time we have today's episode of GRTV news we'll be back now tomorrow for the next one so we'll see you all on that. Take care everyone."

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