Layoffs at Sony London Studio ahead of first VR launch

Layoffs at Sony London Studio ahead of first VR launch
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

September 14th 2016 at 3:05PM

But company will continue to develop new games after London Heist is released

An unknown number of jobs have been cut from Sony’s London Studio as work begins to wrap up on the team’s first virtual reality project.

Having developed many of the game prototypes for PlayStation VR – or Project Morpheus as it was originally known – the studio has been working on London Heist, a game derived from one of its tech demos.

Now, GamesIndustry reports that some senior staff have taken redundancy and further team members were dismissed. However, it’s believed the end of the project’s production cycle has prompted this downsizing.

"Regular reviews take place throughout SIE Worldwide Studios, ensuring that the resources that we have in such a competitive landscape deliver on our strategic objectives in the best way possible," the platform holder said in a statement.

London Studio have done a great job in leading the way in VR development, and as their first project nears completion it is time to plan for the next VR project. The team will take all their learnings and experience as they move forward, however in order to achieve its ambitious goals, the studio will need to restructure around the needs of the new projects.

"Unfortunately, there will be a number of compulsory redundancies within the London Studio. We accept that this will mean that we risk losing high calibre staff whose projects have reached completion and where possible, we will try to reallocate people to new projects currently being nurtured.”

PlayStation is attempting to find alternative opportunities for staff within the company, as well as reaching out to local employers and other developers. It stressed that the studio, which has been running for 15 years, “will continue to deliver groundbreaking work and innovative titles”.

Sony London Studio has a reputation for developing experimental titles, having been the driving force behind The Playroom, Wonderbook and SingStar, as well as R&D for the EyeToy.