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Layoffs hit Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

Naga

Member
Aug 29, 2019
1,220
At least a more unified Playstation will hopefully leave behind the issue of publishers having to make multiple submissions processes and pass several different, potentially costly certification processes. It lead to niche/indie games sometimes launching later in Europe, or not launching at all if the American release did poorly. Stranger of Sword City Revisited never getting a European release still hurts.
It won't.
Playstation US is what led to the whole controversy about JP devs having to re-submit their games (in english too) even after they've been approved by rating boards.
 

travisbickle

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,777
I dont know how many people are employed by Sony in Europe for “dozens” of layoffs to be significant or not?
 

texhnolyze

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,340
Indonesia
They're at the peak of their business and it's still growing, why do they even need layoffs? If anything, they need to hire more people.
 
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OmegaSmash

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
1,125
I thought most Sony fans on here would've been on board with Playstation being handled from California?
 

Kyser73

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,448
QLD, Australia
Sorry what? Laying off PR and marketing people one year out from SIEs arguably biggest hardware launch when as we know the bulk of that work would be in motion right now is not concerning? Surely the best time for these restructures would have been either a year ago or a year after launch of PS5.

It is by far doom and gloom - Sony is in a commanding position and will hold it going forward but that doesn’t mean that you can not be concerned about some of the recent news coming out of the company either - people lost their jobs in what has been a very successful generation for them.
The layoffs were for roles that were duplicated between SCIE and SCIA - there are layoffs on both sides of the Atlantic, altho most of them seem to be in London - at this point the news isn't specific enough about what job and where the layoffs are.

The company I work for just has it's best year, during which time we lost 3 directors and 4 GMs (and only replaced 1 director and 2 GMs). Companies aren't reliant on individuals to work successfully, especially if there's a lot of role duplication as appears to be the case at Sony.

My main concern is that the new globalised approach steamrollers any local tone in marketing, which is one of the things that sets Sony apart. Stuff like localisation in games won't be affected by this.

Not a comment at you cmdrshepard, but reading through this thread you can see who works or has workplace experience.

It won't.
Playstation US is what led to the whole controversy about JP devs having to re-submit their games (in english too) even after they've been approved by rating boards.
There wasn't a controversy about it outside of a buch of paedo weebs.
 

neilyadig

Member
Nov 13, 2017
312
So the Playstation brand is going to become more US-centric (or whatever). Which is a shame, because I often gravitated towards the first or second-party European Playstation titles because they very much have a certain feel (see: Driveclub, Wipeout).

Oh well, one less thing I'll find appealing about next gen I guess.
Agree with this... just feels like another stab after the closing of Studio Liverpool which I associate so closely with the PS brand
 

Decarb

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,694
At least a more unified Playstation will hopefully leave behind the issue of publishers having to make multiple submissions processes and pass several different, potentially costly certification processes. It lead to niche/indie games sometimes launching later in Europe, or not launching at all if the American release did poorly. Stranger of Sword City Revisited never getting a European release still hurts.
I hope it also abolishes the godawful regional restrictions when it comes to games, DLC and savefile compatibility.
 

cmdrshepard

The Fallen
Oct 30, 2017
501
The layoffs were for roles that were duplicated between SCIE and SCIA - there are layoffs on both sides of the Atlantic, altho most of them seem to be in London - at this point the news isn't specific enough about what job and where the layoffs are.

The company I work for just has it's best year, during which time we lost 3 directors and 4 GMs (and only replaced 1 director and 2 GMs). Companies aren't reliant on individuals to work successfully, especially if there's a lot of role duplication as appears to be the case at Sony.

My main concern is that the new globalised approach steamrollers any local tone in marketing, which is one of the things that sets Sony apart. Stuff like localisation in games won't be affected by this.

Not a comment at you cmdrshepard, but reading through this thread you can see who works or has workplace experience.
Sure - while consolidation is normal even when successful my argument is that the timing of this restructuring is rather poor and that considering you are likely losing jobs at local/regional levels at time when you are likely liaising with many different stakeholders including manufacturers, retailers etc in the lead up to the PS5 it could impact that regions performance more at launch then if they did this in say 2021 when the bulk of that work is completed.

As I said Sony is fine and this won’t impact them immediately and is far and away from any type of doomsday scenario some peddle.
 

Lukemia SL

Member
Jan 30, 2018
6,056

Vex

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,996
I tried

MM is gonna be fine though
You did a good job.

But man oh man... Layoffs are my worst nightmare right now. I can't imagine what they are going through. Actually, I can. I have been laid off before (a long time ago) and it was so fucking painful. You feel like your heart just sinks all the way down into your body until it hits the fucking floor.
 

WhovianGamer

Member
Oct 28, 2017
706
SIEE are the best arm overall in my opinion, outside of the developers of course. Their marketing and relationship with their markets is/was fantastic. I'm concerned about SIEA having control.
 

Withnail

Member
Oct 26, 2017
146
I thought most Sony fans on here would've been on board with Playstation being handled from California?
Yep, a lot of people have been asking for this to happen since the PS3 days.

My view has always been "be careful what you wish for", because the distributed nature of SIE was one reason for its global success.
 

Hailinel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,794
You did a good job.

But man oh man... Layoffs are my worst nightmare right now. I can't imagine what they are going through. Actually, I can. I have been laid off before (a long time ago) and it was so fucking painful. You feel like your heart just sinks all the way down into your body until it hits the fucking floor.
Yeah, I know that feeling all too well. I've been laid off before, and the feeling is absolutely miserable. Your livelihood gets pulled out from under you and there's just nothing you can do about it.
 

gofreak

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,701
Acquisitions are capex and opex. Acquisitions increase opex after the acquisition, obviously. Because you're having to fund the ongoing costs of the new studio you've just bought, including all those new employees salaries.
Yeah, that’s fair, I was thinking of just the capital expense of buying a company. But I don’t think in this case, this has anything to do with balancing studio growth - these kinds of layoffs would be happening regardless because of the restructuring, a restructuring that’s been in planning long before recent acquisition events.
 

gofreak

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,701
Not happy about this, especially considering Europe was and is so important to the PlayStation brand.
I’m quoting you, but just picking up on this Europe vs America sentiment in general:

There are two different things here.

The re-headquartering of SIE to the US. This happened a couple of years ago. SIE was never headquartered in Europe, so in this regard nothing has really changed for SIEE. Their headquarters is in the US rather than Tokyo, but it was never in Europe. If there was a power shift here, you could cast Tokyo as the loser rather than Europe.

The second thing, which I think is more immediately relevant to these layoffs, is the restructuring of some operations to globalise things. This hasn’t just just affected Europe - SIEA people were made redundant too. Sony has been reorganising some functions into global teams. By my understanding those teams are not just located in the US - they are multi-office teams distributed between San Mateo and London. They’re international teams, not ‘americans handling everything’. In de-regionalising some functions into those teams, American regional operations have found redundancies too.

There are still some regional functions, I don’t think everything has been ‘globalised’. Local PR and event handling and the like will still happen I’m sure. But, for example, screen advertising creative is now handled by one global agency rather than per region arrangements as before (the ps now ad is the first from that agency). Dev account management has been globalised - good for global, multi region devs who can now go through one team for everything, but you can understand rancour from some others who may have been more comfortable dealing with one local regional office for single-region releases, for example.

edit - I could be wrong on the above things, but it’s my understanding based on news, job postings etc. It’s sensitive stuff for people affected by layoffs, so I apologise if my observations are inaccurate in any way.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
699
This may potentially backfire. The fact that branches were semi-autonomous is was what allowed SCEE to cater to each European region still make the PS3 and PSP successes when they were tanking in the US.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,600
I can still remember when they made PlayStation ads specifically for Ireland. We're a tiny market, but that was all the European branch doing it. Guess that's over now.
 

Golvellius

Member
Dec 3, 2017
991
Well could be worse. Could be shutting down the studios and pulling out of UK entirely like the Honda plant in Swindon costing 3,500 jobs with a knock-on of 12,000 employees. Which, though they deny, is to do with uncertainty of Brexit.
The majority of Swindon's population voted pro Brexit. This is their reward. I'd say they should have used their brains before voting.
 

tolkir

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,646
This only can meaning one thing. PS5 will boot with the USA's National Anthem and people will have to clap after beating a game.
 

domthybomb

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,135
People do know that there's still local marketing teams within those EU countries. Unless you think this UK office handled ALL EU marketing. Other than futbol, UK interest differ significantly with a bunch of the other EU territories. EU, NA, and Asian market has been fully independent of another. Now they are trying to have more of a unified global perspective still while they cater to local markets. This just allows them to streamline somewhat.

I understand there to be some worry but to worry that Sony is now being 'Americanized' when that process started with the PS4. Who do you think Mark Cerny is?
 

gofreak

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,701
People do know that there's still local marketing teams within those EU countries. Unless you think this UK office handled ALL EU marketing. Other than futbol, UK interest differ significantly with a bunch of the other EU territories. EU, NA, and Asian market has been fully independent of another. Now they are trying to have more of a unified global perspective still while they cater to local markets. This just allows them to streamline somewhat.
I think some marketing - PR etc - is probably still regionalised.

Ad creative, for screen ads, however, now has a global brief. However it is a global brief - not an American one. They’ll be making ads for international audiences. They may localise them (which I think is what they did with the ads mentioned above in Ireland - dubbed local accents rather than from-scratch ads). They may even still make ads targeting specific regions only. What’s changed is that there’s one operation handling ads globally, not that they’ll necessarily stop making region specific or localised ads. Of course, at least, there will still be localised ads.
 

MilesQ

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,889
Concentrating power and decision making is never a good thing.

We'll have to wait and see how this pans out, but it's hard to ignore those rumours about the issues caused by the restructuring.
 

Mass_Pincup

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,827
People do know that there's still local marketing teams within those EU countries. Unless you think this UK office handled ALL EU marketing. Other than futbol, UK interest differ significantly with a bunch of the other EU territories. EU, NA, and Asian market has been fully independent of another. Now they are trying to have more of a unified global perspective still while they cater to local markets. This just allows them to streamline somewhat.
Everything is mostly handled in the UK, every local website redirect here.
 

Stygr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,069
People do know that there's still local marketing teams within those EU countries. Unless you think this UK office handled ALL EU marketing. Other than futbol, UK interest differ significantly with a bunch of the other EU territories. EU, NA, and Asian market has been fully independent of another. Now they are trying to have more of a unified global perspective still while they cater to local markets. This just allows them to streamline somewhat.

I understand there to be some worry but to worry that Sony is now being 'Americanized' when that process started with the PS4. Who do you think Mark Cerny is?
SIEE HQ is located in the UK.


Of course very major country has its own office, but the one that coordinates everything in the EU is in the UK.
 

Jegriva

Member
Sep 23, 2019
646
What the fuck. And doing it when the news cycle is all about the PS5. I wanna think it's a coincidence, but it most surely isn't.
 

Inuhanyou

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,286
New Jersey
this could have a bad impact on sony's european operations...with MS, this is how they have failed to gain traction in any other country outside of America being so US centric and not being able to adapt to global trends depending on the region to maximize success in certain areas...its hard to understand what is going on when Sony's whole strength is in their global operation. America is only 30% of their entire market, its quite mind boggling.
 

DrDamn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
380
On the one hand I quite liked that Sony seemed to understand there were distinct markets that needed specific treatment, on the other it often felt like there was a lack of consistency across the company in some areas and in many ways the world is more global than ever. So if they can fix the issues and retain some of the understanding then it’s probably a good thing longer term. Sucks for people losing jobs though.

Hiding it amongst the PS5 info release also sucks but also a very PR/Marketing-y thing to do. :/
 

Voodoopeople

Member
Oct 29, 2017
337
People flat out denying this is in any way worth concern are just as wrong as those catastrophising that this is the end of Sony.

What it is the end of PlayStation AS WE KNOW IT. The end of a generation is always a time of change. These inflection points are times of vulnerability for companies. Particularly when one makes significant change to a formula that worked so well.

Look at Manchester United after Ferguson or Liverpool after they brought in Souness.

Major change can lead to serious disruption. At least in the short term.

Xbox HAD to make massive changes so its easy to gain positivity when they literally DID THE WRONG THING before. They know what their customers demanded of them and began the slog back.

Sony, on the other hand, built a huge base on the back of a specific model and they are now deviating from that.

Hey, it might work wonders but it's totally reasonable for concern.

There's already enough evidence out there that Sony employees themselves aren't exactly over the moon with these changes. Including one Mr Layden. We can safely put to bed any thoughts that his departure was an amicable "natural end of gen" situation in light of the wider struggles happening as a result of this restructure.

MS often get labelled as too US/UK Centric. One of the reasons Sony didn't was their localised aporoach. Getting rid of this is risky and they have to be mindful of how that can result in homogenisation in their output and messaging.

Better that fans voice concerns now than wait until its too late.