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News Sony Interactive Entertainment EU reportedly lays off "dozens" amid restructuring

CurryPanda

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US-based creative services also affected, employee notice given on same day as PS5 details announcement

Sony Interactive Entertainment's European branch has reportedly laid off "dozens" amid a multi-division restructuring.

GamesIndustry.biz's sister-site Video Games Chronicle reports that affected divisions included marketing and PR, in addition to layoffs also occurring in the US creative services team, with at least one employee sharing their situation on Twitter. Some employees are being asked to re-interview for former positions.

This announcement was made to employees on the same day as a Wired report that shared new details on Sony's upcoming PlayStation 5, including its confirmed name and a release window of holiday 2020. Some employees reportedly feel this is a sign of the growing influence of SIE America and the reduced influence of the EU side, with American executives coming to the EU to make the announcement and EU employees not being informed of the Wired article reveals at all.

This restructuring appears to be a continuation of an ongoing shift across all of Sony, the effects of which have seen Jim Ryan appointed SIE president and CEO earlier this year, and former SIE Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden departing the company unexpectedly at the start of this month.

GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Sony for comment, though VGC notes that Sony declined to comment on the news.
 
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Trojita

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Not the censorship bureau in California?

Some employees are being asked to re-interview for former positions.
That's not how you do a restructuring lol
 
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Bryank75

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Part of the organization going global and the integration process, of course duplicated jobs will need to go....
It's sad.
The one thing that I don't really understand is how Jim Ryan became SIE president yet it is US influence that seems to be taking over!?
Particularly since Europe is a PlayStation stronghold. You'd think they would want to emulate that in the US.
 

DeepEnigma

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Part of the organization going global and the integration process, of course duplicated jobs will need to go....
It's sad.
The one thing that I don't really understand is how Jim Ryan became SIE president yet it is US influence that seems to be taking over!?
Particularly since Europe is a PlayStation stronghold. You'd think they would want to emulate that in the US.
I think people are just projecting that, because US people were impacted as well.
 

Bryank75

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Everything is fine! No problems here!
In fairness, PlayStation is pretty lean in terms of staff. They have way less management than companies like Activision or Bethesda or their peers.... significantly less.

One of Kaz's first moves when he became Sony CEO was to lay off loads of people. It worked though. You have to get rid of bloat. It's not the public sector.
 

MiyazakiHatesKojima

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It was funny when I was interviewing one of the employees who was re-applying for his own position. He started crying midway through the interview and I just put my feet on top of the table and wiggled it in front of his face. Needless to say, I didn't give him his job back and now he wishes he was left Stranding to Death in the middle of some island lol.
 
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mckmas8808

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Now I get it. Sony releases PS5 into to overshadow lay offs.

No wonder it seemed fishy why Sony would release high level PS5 info in a boring tweet.
But how would you or Sony think layoffs would be some hugely negative story? And why cover it up with amazing PS5 news?
 

Clear

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Now I get it. Sony releases PS5 into to overshadow lay offs.

No wonder it seemed fishy why Sony would release high level PS5 info in a boring tweet.
More likely Gamer Network is salty that Sony gave Wired the exclusive again, and are trying to please their friends in Redmond by spreading a bit of FUD. Lets be honest, when was the last time their Playstation branded outlet Push Square ever got any attention?
 
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GHG

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That is very strange. I wonder if they are "re-negotiating" their contracts. But yeah, usually it's a straight lay off and not hire the same person for the same position.
This usually happens when the requirements of a role change.

By default the incumbent gets the opportunity to interview for the new position and if they don't fit the bill then they are made redundant.

The reason this happens is because there is a law which states you cannot rehire somebody in the same position from which someone was recently made redundant during a restructuring for a certain period of time (the length of time varies from country to country but it's usually 6-12 months) . Reinterviewing people opens up a loophole whereby if the person is not successful they can then hire externally without there needing to be a gap - the old person got given the opportunity, they just weren't suitable.

Another reason it happens is because they might be shrinking teams (e.g. 4 people in marketing down to a single position). All of the people in the team being made redundant would then compete with each other for the new position should any of them want it.

But how would you or Sony think layoffs would be some hugely negative story? And why cover it up with amazing PS5 news?
It's not necessarily a cover up. The new generation might bring a new strategy and thus new job and team structures/requirements. Restructuring teams in the run up to a new product/platform launch as an old one (product/platform) is being phased out is not uncommon.
 
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jakinov

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In fairness, PlayStation is pretty lean in terms of staff. They have way less management than companies like Activision or Bethesda or their peers.... significantly less.

One of Kaz's first moves when he became Sony CEO was to lay off loads of people. It worked though. You have to get rid of bloat. It's not the public sector.
They should get rid of bloat in the public sector too. I don't want my taxes paying for people useless people's salaries, pensions and other benefits.

If you are doing a shitty job. You can identify which employees to keep and align them for current openings and opportunities. Dropping people and then asking them to apply for the (same?) job doesn't engender good will to employees.
I'm sure it doesn't feel great to be asked to reinterview for your job but it's better than being outright laid off. If they are really worth keeping then maybe they'll see that and bring them back. But the idea is to probably find the best fit for the position(s) and they aren't sure if these people are the ones to do it.
 
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joe_zazen

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Does anyone think sony has been doing good with their marketing over the last 12 months?
 

GHG

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Does anyone think sony has been doing good with their marketing over the last 12 months?
Jim Ryan literally said they've been doing a crap job lately in that respect and are guilty of not talking enough.
  • A lot of people don't realise you can download games from PS Now and that it isn't just streaming.
  • Concrete Genie just came out and nobody knows about it.
  • Missing E3.
  • This strange method of drip-feeding PS5 info via wired and twitter.
It's always sad to see people suddenly lose their jobs but I don't blame them if they want to freshen things up, especially in Marketing and PR.
 

Pallas

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Wonder if there’s going to be layoffs and n SIE America’s PR department too, you also have to wonder if this is somehow in anyway connected to Layden departing so randomly.
 

Turkey Master Baster

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Gematsu has this as a Layoff from the 8th, and the PS5 information came out on the 8th.

Done for Damage Control?

SIEA really don't know what to expect with the European PS fanbase...they are savages in the PS Blogs! You can't censor those people as they buy most of your stuff!
 
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jakinov

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Jim Ryan literally said they've been doing a crap job lately in that respect and are guilty of not talking enough.
  • A lot of people don't realise you can download games from PS Now and that it isn't just streaming.
  • Concrete Genie just came out and nobody knows about it.
  • Missing E3.
  • This strange method of drip-feeding PS5 info via wired and twitter.
It's always sad to see people suddenly lose their jobs but I don't blame them if they want to freshen things up, especially in Marketing and PR.
They don't really need to talk though. They'll probably do their mainstream marketing in winter like the normally do and COD and all that will sport the PS logo. The vast majority of people probably don't care about E3 and wouldn't care about Concrete Genie (to do a expensive marketing campaign). PS+ was doing pretty good based on some graph picture people here pass around. Maybe they could advertise that aspect more. Is it even available on all games or is it just a subset? In regards to PS5, they aren't revealing all their cards and are just feeding the enthusiasts. You don't need months for people to know about the PS5 for people to buy it. The trend in technology, movies, TV, etc. is to do most of your marketing or announcements near when people can actually get the product. As enthusiasts we really want to see what's next but most people aren't like us. Most people don't go on video game forums to discuss video games. They don't really need to know a lot about a product that will probably come out in 14 months right now.
 
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I've worked for 4 different software companies in the past 10 years, 3 of them I got laid off from after "restructuring" and it's only a matter of time before the same thing happens in my current position.

You shouldn't feel sorry for me. After each layoff it never took me more than 2-3 weeks to find another job and every one of those companies gave me severance packages that lasted 2-3 months so I was actually getting DOUBLE pay checks for a while after each lay off. The way you counter the lay off cycles is by networking and keeping up with the latest trends in whatever technology stack you work with. If you do this, you'll always find employment.

You can sit around and cry and wish it was still the 1960s and you could find a "job for life" - but that's pretty useless. You'll be much better off by taking a realistic approach to these things.
 
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I've worked for 4 different software companies in the past 10 years, 3 of them I got laid off from after "restructuring" and it's only a matter of time before the same thing happens in my current position.

You shouldn't feel sorry for me. After each layoff it never took me more than 2-3 weeks to find another job and every one of those companies gave me severance packages that lasted 2-3 months so I was actually getting DOUBLE pay checks for a while after each lay off. The way you counter the lay off cycles is by networking and keeping up with the latest trends in whatever technology stack you work with. If you do this, you'll always find employment.

You can sit around and cry and wish it was still the 1960s and you could find a "job for life" - but that's pretty useless. You'll be much better off by taking a realistic approach to these things.
And the reason why you keep getting re-hired is because it seems you network and have a good track record.

The problem is some people feel entitled and think companies owe them job security just for being an employee. Companies owe you nothing except the agreed upon wages and benefits and any local employment laws like vacation pay, federal holidays and things like that.

Anyone who demands job security as part of being employed are IMO tards trying to coast knowing it makes it harder for the company to fire their lazy ass.
 

MayauMiao

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I hope this is a sign Sony will closed down their California HQ and move back to Japan.
 

TheExorzist

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And the reason why you keep getting re-hired is because it seems you network and have a good track record.

The problem is some people feel entitled and think companies owe them job security just for being an employee. Companies owe you nothing except the agreed upon wages and benefits and any local employment laws like vacation pay, federal holidays and things like that.

Anyone who demands job security as part of being employed are IMO tards trying to coast knowing it makes it harder for the company to fire their lazy ass.
That's a rather troubling view. After a certain time in a company I think you are very well entitled to a certain security because, after all, YOU also did your part for the company to grow and propser. Well, "you are expendable, someone else could have done your job" I hear you say. True, but that applies to basically anyone in every company. Yes, even the fukken CEO.
 
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They are fusing their American and EU marketing. Makes sense. Not like they make games for different markets anymore, besides china.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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That's a rather troubling view. After a certain time in a company I think you are very well entitled to a certain security because, after all, YOU also did your part for the company to grow and propser. Well, "you are expendable, someone else could have done your job" I hear you say. True, but that applies to basically anyone in every company. Yes, even the fukken CEO.
Disagree.

An employee contributes their job duty. In return the company pays them. That's the deal. In fact, people should be lucky they even get severance pay. Reason why that is law is because (just like government deductions for pension payments 30 years from now), they know people will not budget and blow their cash, so the mandate companies may be required to pay extra cash to stem the tide.

Name one thing in life where once the service is over........ one side has to keep paying extra cash?

Expecting job security is like hiring a contractor to renovate your house which you are going to enjoy for 20 years. Instead of paying him $10,000 to cover the project, he also asks you a severance package because he doesn't know if he'll get another gig next week. In the mean time for agreeing to the first project, he also asks you for job security so any future projects you have to go through him. And if you don't, he bills you a $10,000 break up fee.

A contrasting view to yours too is what if the company sinks like a rock? Workers have zero obligations. They work, get paid, and 99% of them have no real responsibility or managing or owning the company. So if a worker should get job security for a job well done, they should be grilled and pay back a company for screwing it up or get their salary dinged next year or pay back last years bonus for fucking up this year.

It's easy for wages to go up. Nobody will complain. If a company sinks and needs to restructure or even needs to go to bankruptcy court, it's still a hard slog to decrease wages even to keep the company afloat. That's why people get canned. An alternative could be to keep everyone, but decrease everyone's ,wages -5%, but you can't do that or labour lawyers will sue the company.

However, wages are a one way street. So if people want hardlocked wages, companies save money by gassing people.
 

joe_zazen

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And the reason why you keep getting re-hired is because it seems you network and have a good track record.

The problem is some people feel entitled and think companies owe them job security just for being an employee. Companies owe you nothing except the agreed upon wages and benefits and any local employment laws like vacation pay, federal holidays and things like that.

Anyone who demands job security as part of being employed are IMO tards trying to coast knowing it makes it harder for the company to fire their lazy ass.
Germany kicks ass in so many areas in part because employees and communities get a say in how businesses are managed and run. The idea that business management need to be separated from communities and employees is why many western countries are not competitive vs places like china.

I doubt that will change as most western businesses and govts are run by self serving psychopaths. Nonetheless, it is worth pointing out that there are other models than ‘businesses owners can do whatever the fuck they want because they are rich’.
 

PropellerEar

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That is very strange. I wonder if they are "re-negotiating" their contracts. But yeah, usually it's a straight lay off and not hire the same person for the same position.
I've been through this at one company. In some countries you need to open all positions that will remain for "interviews". This might happen if you don't close the whole unit, and plan to keep only some of the employees.
 
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jakinov

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Germany kicks ass in so many areas in part because employees and communities get a say in how businesses are managed and run. The idea that business management need to be separated from communities and employees is why many western countries are not competitive vs places like china.

I doubt that will change as most western businesses and govts are run by self serving psychopaths. Nonetheless, it is worth pointing out that there are other models than ‘businesses owners can do whatever the fuck they want because they are rich’.
What does China do exactly to not seperate communities from business? From what I understood China is pretty capitalist fo a country that’s run by a party called the communist party. China is accused for corporate and government espionage by a lot of counties. They also known for in the tech industry(where they excelling right now), to extremely over work their employees to the point that they end up in the hospital with their 12 hour 6 days a week or worst work schedules.

Also it’s not about business owners doing what they want because they are rich it’s about business owners doing what they want because it’s their business. It’s about having the freedom to associate with who you want when you want.
 

joe_zazen

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What does China do exactly to not seperate communities from business? From what I understood China is pretty capitalist fo a country that’s run by a party called the communist party. China is accused for corporate and government espionage by a lot of counties. They also known for in the tech industry(where they excelling right now), to extremely over work their employees to the point that they end up in the hospital with their 12 hour 6 days a week or worst work schedules.

Also it’s not about business owners doing what they want because they are rich it’s about business owners doing what they want because it’s their business. It’s about having the freedom to associate with who you want when you want.
businesses are treated as strategic resources in China that are there for the benefit of China and at the behest of the law. Businessmen do not run china.

and yes, ideologically and philosophically you can look at ownership as some kind of divine right; the owner gets to do whatever they want because they have the papers. and what you end up with is corporations and billionaires with no responsibilities to the rest of the world. I find that repugnant and also less productive and humane, as Germany demonstrates.
 
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jakinov

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businesses are treated as strategic resources in China that are there for the benefit of China and at the behest of the law. Businessmen do not run china.

and yes, ideologically and philosophically you can look at ownership as some kind of divine right; the owner gets to do whatever they want because they have the papers. and what you end up with is corporations and billionaires with no responsibilities to the rest of the world. I find that repugnant and also less productive and humane, as Germany demonstrates.
I would argue that most western countries, businesses are seen as beneficial “resources” for their respective countries they just dont see them as something that they own and can take over for any reason. China’s goverment owns China but it’s still the same business men under paying over working and treating people like shit countywide day-to-day. China government is supposed to be for the people but it’s not. The only major difference is that the government their can easily and acceptingly force business people to do things if they wanted to. Maybe sometimes in the interest of the people but so far mostly in the interest of themselves. I would argue that the people don’t feel like these companies are things that they own.

Why do billionaires have to be responsible to the world? Other countries are very productive too. And it’s not like Germany does a whole lot against these billionaires. In regards to being humane, they do provide more social benefits and protective labor laws than a lot other countries which is always nice if you need them. But the other western countries are far from being inhumane. Germany shows that it’s possible to have larger goverment and still have a motivated productive society but it doesn’t necessarily prove you need those laws and more social benefits in order to achieve better productivity. There are a lot of factors at play. Canada for example has a lot of social benefits and comparable labor laws yet lags behind a lot of countries in the west that don’t have that stuff.
 

joe_zazen

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I would argue that most western countries, businesses are seen as beneficial “resources” for their respective countries they just dont see them as something that they own and can take over for any reason. China’s goverment owns China but it’s still the same business men under paying over working and treating people like shit countywide day-to-day. China government is supposed to be for the people but it’s not. The only major difference is that the government their can easily and acceptingly force business people to do things if they wanted to. Maybe sometimes in the interest of the people but so far mostly in the interest of themselves. I would argue that the people don’t feel like these companies are things that they own.

Why do billionaires have to be responsible to the world? Other countries are very productive too. And it’s not like Germany does a whole lot against these billionaires. In regards to being humane, they do provide more social benefits and protective labor laws than a lot other countries which is always nice if you need them. But the other western countries are far from being inhumane. Germany shows that it’s possible to have larger goverment and still have a motivated productive society but it doesn’t necessarily prove you need those laws and more social benefits in order to achieve better productivity. There are a lot of factors at play. Canada for example has a lot of social benefits and comparable labor laws yet lags behind a lot of countries in the west that don’t have that stuff.
german companies are actually run by three stakeholders: community, labor, and management (who work for owners). Those three make the decsions on how things are run and that is why they have a kickass manufacturing center that hasnt been outsourced into a rust belt. Canada on the other hand...

as to why billionaires have responsibilities...well, because we are social animals, we have responsibilities towards each other (especially those with enormous power and resources). If we did not, world would be hell, or more hellish anyway. But I do understand others see the world differently and are ok with billionaires acting like robber barrons because they are entitled to the lions share of the planet’s resources without strings, and poor aren't worth thinking about.
 
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I would argue that most western countries, businesses are seen as beneficial “resources” for their respective countries they just dont see them as something that they own and can take over for any reason. China’s goverment owns China but it’s still the same business men under paying over working and treating people like shit countywide day-to-day. China government is supposed to be for the people but it’s not. The only major difference is that the government their can easily and acceptingly force business people to do things if they wanted to. Maybe sometimes in the interest of the people but so far mostly in the interest of themselves. I would argue that the people don’t feel like these companies are things that they own.

Why do billionaires have to be responsible to the world? Other countries are very productive too. And it’s not like Germany does a whole lot against these billionaires. In regards to being humane, they do provide more social benefits and protective labor laws than a lot other countries which is always nice if you need them. But the other western countries are far from being inhumane. Germany shows that it’s possible to have larger goverment and still have a motivated productive society but it doesn’t necessarily prove you need those laws and more social benefits in order to achieve better productivity. There are a lot of factors at play. Canada for example has a lot of social benefits and comparable labor laws yet lags behind a lot of countries in the west that don’t have that stuff.
german companies are actually run by three stakeholders: community, labor, and management (who work for owners). Those three make the decsions on how things are run and that is why they have a kickass manufacturing center that hasnt been outsourced into a rust belt. Canada on the other hand...

as to why billionaires have responsibilities...well, because we are social animals, we have responsibilities towards each other (especially those with enormous power and resources). If we did not, world would be hell, or more hellish anyway. But I do understand others see the world differently and are ok with billionaires acting like robber barrons because they are entitled to the lions share of the planet’s resources without strings, and poor aren't worth thinking about.
I believe Japan has a very collaborative worker/boss relationship too.

US and Canada worker/boss/union relations are fucked. Greedy people on both sides.

In Canada, the government even resorts to classifying certain jobs like firemen and paramedics as non-strikable essential services because they know come contract time, a strike could put people's health in danger as union reps will resort to anything from not showing up, calling in sick, and picketing,
 
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