Today Sony Computer Entertainment Europe confirmed a round of layoffs at Evolution Studios, Guerrilla Cambridge and SCE London Studio, and industry insider Ahsan Rasheed, that has a few trusted sources in the company, immediately scrambled to get more information on what’s up with the house of PlayStation on British soil. He then reported on his finding on Twitter.
OK, this is what I can gather so far about the restructuring efforts.
Certain projects are not coming together. IE Concepts broken, ideas strong on paper but not in application, or inability to hit milestones.
The only project I do know of that was canned was not very far into production and would have required a ton more work to fix up.
Since this kind of layoffs often causes people to lash at the head of Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida, Rasheed explained that he isn’t responsible for the layoffs:
Also Shu isn’t responsible, this is studio heads evaluating internal projections and making the cuts based on that.
Final word, Sony is very serious about first party efforts. Studios are encouraged to refocus, hone in, and refine. It just sucks people go.
Rasheed’s information about the canned project is supported by NeoGAF user DemonNite, who is known to work at Sony even if he never revealed his actual identity. He mentions that he’s safe, but his colleagues working on “another project” are not.
He continues by giving his own version of what’s going on, and by explaining that there are still plenty projects in the works:
Can’t speak for all studios but if a project isn’t looking good, it’s not looking good right? why waste more time making it. SSM just went thru this and the same is happening here.
That being said… there are plenty of projects still going on.
Long ago he had posted a list with blank lines representing sixteen unannounced PS4 projects, and today he specified that two are now gone. Considering the nature of the list that should include the project previously canceled at Sony Santa Monica, that also seems to confirm one canceled project with today’s layoffs, and hints to the possibility of it being for PS4.
As Rasheed says, it’s disheartening to see people losing their jobs, and our thoughts go to those affected, with the hope that they’ll soon find good places where to express their talent.