Sony PlayStation to cut 900 jobs at closed London studio; Naughty Dog, Insomnia, Retrenchment

Japan’s Sony is cutting about 900 jobs at its PlayStation unit and closing a studio in London, it said on Tuesday as the videogame industry struggles to recover from the post-pandemic recession.

The layoffs will affect about 8 percent of the division’s employees in regions ranging from the US to Asia and come days after Sony lowered annual sales expectations for its PlayStation 5 console.

Sony Gaming head Jim Ryan said, “We have concluded that difficult decisions have become inevitable,” attributing this to changes in the way the videogame industry develops, distributes and launches products. Ryan is scheduled to retire in March.

The move joins Sony with Microsoft and Tencent-owned Riot Games, which have laid off thousands of employees in recent months due to a slow recovery in the gaming market.

The global videogame market grew just 0.6 percent last year to $184 billion (roughly Rs. 15,25,664 crores), according to industry tracker Newzoo, though that was better than a more than 5 percent decline in 2022.

The layoffs will also impact Sony’s other studios, including US-based Insomniac Games, which worked on games like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and Naughty Dog, the studio behind The Last of Us.

Sony said earlier this month that it expects a gradual decline in PlayStation 5 unit sales starting next fiscal year and that it does not plan to release any major franchise titles in the coming fiscal year.

The device has achieved lifetime sales of more than 50 million units since its launch in late 2020, after a slow initial few years when supply shortages due to the pandemic limited the entertainment group’s device production.

© Thomson Reuters 2024


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