Sony has laid off chunks of staff in their European offices, directors visited Sony’s London office earlier this week to deliver the news. But what has caused a real issue is that Sony Interactive Entertainment America (SIEA) chose to make the announcement the same day as the PlayStation 5 announcement. To cause added friction, it seems that many of Sony’s European offices were unaware of the intention to run the PlayStation 5 announcement. SIEA has been rapidly taking more and more control of Sony, influencing how it operates. The announcement for a restructure actually came back in 2018, but it’s clear the extent of influence SIEA currently have has surprised employees.
Some American creatives within the company have also lost their jobs, in a now deleted tweet one of those affected said:
“I hate that this is going to be drowned by the PS 5 announcement.”
Some employees have been asked to come and re-interview for their positions, including those working in marketing and PR.
PlayStation’s outer arms had been able to work more or less independently, arranging their own marketing budgets for their local audiences. Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE, formally SCEE) has had to listen closely to SIEA as Sony is attempting to create a single global overseer for the company.
SIEE has been responsible for iconic brands such as Wipeout, Killzone and lots more. But it is reported from employees that SIEE will have much less involvement in the next generation of PlayStation. They have also vented their frustration that the State of Play, PlayStation’s news videos series is now headed by SIEA, and often contain content that SIEE is totally unaware of.
Video Games Chronicle reached out to Sony for comment about the layoffs, redundancies and staff frustration but Sony declined to comment.
Sony recently removed the Facebook Integration for PlayStation 4, making the ability to share content directly from the PlayStation 4 slightly more awkward.
I’ve worked in the gaming industry for around 10 years, in journalism and QA. I also run Hampshire’s biggest charity gaming event, the Southampton Game Fest.