If the following report is anything to go by, it sounds like the house of blue, known as Sony, is going through a phase of layoffs. It’s unclear how long this endeavor will go on for, but if the latest report holds any truth, then issues are running rampant across Sony Interactive Entertainment and its branches.
Notice: Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and its other arms — SIEA, SIEE, and SIEJA — have not commented on the following story or have not reached out to the publication site that broke the news. With that said, take the resulting info down below with a grain of salt.
According to talk around the web by analysts and people in touch with big companies — in the land of CEOs, CFOs and other top execs — like The Wall Street Journal writer Takashi Mochizuki, this layoff is labeled as the “norm” given that this is the 2nd fiscal half for some companies.
And it’s not just Sony that announcing bunch of personnel moves. Oct. 1 marks the start of 2nd fiscal half for most Japanese companies and I got many e-mails about personnel announcements from many companies I cover. Don’t read between the lines—nothing’s there.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) October 1, 2019
Despite what Mochizuki believes, other websites claim that they have spoken to “actual employees” connected to SIE and its many branches, and the info that these sites have collected clashes with Mochizuki’s.
The first website is videogameschronicle.com with its piece rocking the headline “PlayStation EU put ‘dozens’ up for redundancy on day of PS5 announcement.”
The piece examines several unnamed employees that happen to be laid off. This also includes restructuring of several divisions and the act of fixing up SIE and its arms marketing and PR department:
“According to people with knowledge of the situation, American PlayStation directors visited Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE) in London on Tuesday to announce the restructuring of several divisions, including marketing and PR.
Affected employees were then given notice and meetings were set for those required to re-interview for their jobs.”
Sony’s Europe branch wasn’t the only one affected by the layoff epidemic. The U.S. arm, according to the report, faced the same issues:
“There were also a number of layoffs in the US-based creative services team, with one affected employee writing on Twitter: “I hate that this is going to be drowned by the PS5 announcement.””
Yes, the same day that the PS5 news went live was the same day that this purported event took place. However, the layoff movement is said to help with further centralizing the global structure of the company:
“Previously PlayStation’s regional arms were able to act autonomously, signing their own games and setting their own marketing budgets.
This allowed regional departments to specifically cater to their own audiences: PlayStation Move was marketed more heavily in Europe, for example, while Driveclub wasn’t pushed heavily in the US.
[…] However, following a restructure SIEA is increasingly taking the global lead, VGC understands, with Europe frequently having to take orders from the American operation.”
This act of centralizing the many branches sees the European arm having reduced influence in that European employees were not even aware of the U.S. decision to announce PlayStation 5 details on publication site Wired:
“SIEE [Europe] has been an integral part of PlayStation since the PSOne, having been responsible for mass-market brands such as Wipeout, LittleBigPlanet, Killzone, SingStar, EyeToy and much of PlayStation VR’s output.
However, the feeling among many SIEE employees VGC talked to is that the arm will have a significantly reduced influence during the coming console generation.
SIEA’s [U.S.] influence has become so strong that European employees were not even aware of the US’s decision to announce PlayStation 5 details on publication Wired, VGC was told, and only found out about this year’s pair of reveal articles when they were published.
Similarly, PlayStation’s State of Play live streams, an SIEA initiative, are run out of the US and SIEE is often unaware of their content.
The centralisation has seen a significant number of layoffs across Europe in the past 12 months, culminating in this week’s redundancies, while some dissatisfied senior staff have also left the company.”
Another website by the name of gamedaily.biz shares similar information from anonymous sources like the first publication site with its piece “Shawn Layden departs Sony amid restructuring confusion and potential power struggle.” The write-up relays that the centralization isn’t going over smoothly:
“The biggest issue in merging SIEA, SIEE, and SIEJA is the cavernous difference in product marketplaces. Marketing a product in the North/South American markets is vastly different than doing so in Europe. And neither aligns with how sales work in Japan and Asia. Suddenly, three teams were working on the same thing without much clarity in reporting structure. This has created chaos, as SIE adjusted to a global mindset. Additionally, Sony reorganization typically impacts senior vice president level and higher, with lower level employees facing a “rolling restructure” as higher-ups figure things out how to manage shifting teams on the fly.”
To summarize all of this, Sony is trying to merge and become a centralized company it that its branches all work together. But, Sony is cutting jobs in the process, and people reportedly working on the PS5 aren’t all in the know as to what is going on.
In addition to the above, some lower levels, higher-ups, and third-party members aren’t too happy with the way things are going. However, we’ll see how things play out moving forward.