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PlayStation to lay off 900 people and close major studio

Outgoing CEO Jim Ryan has announced the PlayStation layoffs in a company-wide address, leaving the future for 8% of its workforce unclear.

PlayStation layoffs: a woman with red hair readying a bow and arrow, next to the PlayStation logo

Sony has announced that 8% of its PlayStation workforce will be laid off as part of a major restructuring of its gaming operations. Roughly 900 people are being cut across the globe, leading to job losses and even full closures across some of PlayStation’s biggest first-party studios. There have also been cancellations of upcoming games. The news of the PlayStation layoffs was shared in a new letter by outgoing SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan.

Offering up the reasoning behind the decision, Ryan says that “the industry has changed immensely, and we need to future-ready ourselves to set the business up for what lies ahead.” The PS5 has now entered the latter stage of its life cycle, and after failing to meet its lofty 25 million unit sales target last quarter it’s clear that Sony is trying to insulate itself from an industry that continues to contract in the post-Covid era. There are plenty of exciting new PS5 games still on the way this year, but the damage appears to already have been done.

Judging from Ryan’s comments, alongside a second blog post from PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst, it looks like the UK will bear the brunt of the job cuts. It’s been proposed that PlayStation London Studio will close entirely, with planned reductions to Firesprite Studio also in the works. With that being said, redundancies will also be made at other major first-party studios in Europe and the US, including Guerilla, Insomniac, and Naughty Dog – creators of some of the best PS5 games.

The loss of London Studio, as well as Firesprite’s planned reductions, could certainly hamper PlayStation’s VR ambitions just days after it announced its grand plans for PC. London Studio was the brain behind augmented experiences like EyeToy Play, as well as some of the best PSVR 2 games in VR Worlds, and Blood & Truth. The studio had also been working on an unannounced online multiplayer game set in a fantasy-filled modern-day London, though this will undoubtedly go with it to the grave.

Firesprite, meanwhile, most recently brought Horizon Call of the Mountain to our headsets. Despite it being one of the best PSVR 2 games, set in the universe of a major Sony franchise, even Firesprite isn’t immune to the layoffs.

PS5 Sony layoffs: Jim Ryan posing with the London Studio team

It’s yet another bleak day in an industry that has continually dealt with losses over the past year. London Studio associate art manager Isabel Foley only last week posted an image of the team with Jim Ryan as part of his recent trip across the pond. Watching someone smiling, more than likely knowing that less than a week later they’ll be leaving all of these talented creatives out of a job makes for rough viewing, to say the least. The optics are categorically awful, but it’s the cruel reality of business.

“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 states. While his words are filled with respect, they’ll do little to salve the anxieties of the hundreds of people who have now found themselves out of work, in an industry that appears to be shrinking more and more with each passing announcement.

For more of the latest PS5 news, check out Stellar Blade’s unusually small file size. Meanwhile, take a look at the cut Helldivers 2 content that would’ve let you fight bugs and bots like Solid Snake.