Sony To Shut Down PlayStation's London Studio and Lay Off Over 900 Global Workforce

By Thea Felicity

Feb 27, 2024 01:30 PM EST

(Photo : Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images))
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 06: An EVO 2022 attendee takes a break in front of the Playstation booth at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on August 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sony's recent announcement to lay off 8% of its global PlayStation workforce, totaling around 900 employees, marks a significant restructuring move for the gaming giant, resulting in the closure of PlayStation's London Studio. 

As per BBC, Jim Ryan, the company's CEO, described the decision as "sad news" in an email to employees, attributing it to the need for tough choices amidst operational restructuring. 

The move comes from Microsoft's plan to lay off 1,900 individuals in its gaming division, including those from recently-acquired Activision-Blizzard.

Halli Bjornsson, head of UK developer Lockwood Publishing, expressed concern over the closure of Sony's London Studio, highlighting the impact on the UK game development culture while emphasizing the resilience of the UK's gaming talent and heritage to navigate through industry shifts and seize future opportunities.

"Sony is one of the big pillars of UK game development culture so it's massive to see the legendary Sony London studio close in particular."

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Sony Studio in London

Sony's London Studio, established in 2002, has been a cornerstone of UK game development, contributing to iconic franchises like SingStar and This Is Football, alongside producing acclaimed virtual reality (VR) titles like VR Worlds and Blood & Truth. 

Despite its recent focus on VR gaming and its contribution to Sony's successful PlayStation 5 sales, the studio's closure underscores the challenges faced by even established entities in the gaming industry.

Sony's decision to downsize its workforce coincides with a slightly diminished outlook for PlayStation console sales, which was previously reported by VCPost. The decline in sales was indicated in its recent earnings report despite a rise in revenue. 

While PlayStation 5 sales have exceeded 50 million units globally, Nintendo's Switch console, released three years earlier, has significantly outsold it. This move reflects the competitive landscape of the gaming industry and Sony's efforts to adapt to evolving market dynamics.

Sony will inevitably have to restructure with no plans for the next console. 

However, the store closure and layoffs remind of the industry's volatility and the imperative for tech companies like Sony to stay agile in response to shifting consumer demands and market trends.

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