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http://www.gamespot.com/articles/sony-layoffs-hit-driveclub-killzone-and-the-playroom-developers/1100-6418519/



Sony has laid off an undisclosed amount of staff at three of its UK developers: Evolution Studios, Guerrilla Cambridge, and SCE London Studio. 

VideoGamer reported that "numerous" people from each studio have been let go. In a statement, Sony said that a recent internal review triggered the need for restructuring at the studios.

 
Sony is bleeding, so I can see them trimming where ever they can so they never go under.

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Doesn't it happen often when a game is done in this industry? They create big team for a game and when it's done they fire people and keep the core team only.

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Well the entire industry is tightening its belt it seems.  Sony is certainly in one of the worst positions considering the state of the company as a whole. 

 

Hopefully any developers let go now can find similar work quickly.

 

While there are numerous examples of game developer layoffs, its also true that most of the time the reaction from other game developers is to reach out to these people and remind them that they are looking for new hires.  So maybe there is a balance going on, even if certain companies are having to lay off more people.

 


Doesn't it happen often when a game is done in this industry? They create big team for a game and when it's done they fire people and keep the core team only.

 

 

It certainly seems like that is the case, but who knows if that is the reason for the layoffs in this case.

 

I would think that Sony would try to relocate these people if it was simply because they were done with the current project they had. 

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Is Sony still in financial trouble?

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Not surprising given other AAA studios can put out games with teams of <=100. Sony Santa Monica for example was up at over 200 before cuts, sad for the people, but ridiculously bloated.

 

Just another sword in the current AAA business model, it's not sustainable.

 

When looking at Sony remember they do have the most 1st party studios, many more than MS and Nintendo who rely a lot on 3rd party.

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It certainly seems like that is the case, but who knows if that is the reason for the layoffs in this case.

 

I would think that Sony would try to relocate these people if it was simply because they were done with the current project they had. 

 

Well the thing is we don't really know how many were fired. Was maybe a bunch of guys they did not like when working on Killzone and Driveclub. Killzone was not really a success layoffs got to be expected in a situation like that. Doesn't look like Driveclub is heading in the right direction either.

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Looking at this from a real world perspective; that sucks.  I'm sure some of these people have families to take care of and things of that nature.

 

The gaming industry seems to be at a all time high, but also at a crossroads as well.

 

Games are better than they've ever been.  But only a handful of titles get a decent return on their investment.  And this it seems, is the end result (well Sony's other departments, not helping the situation) of the matter.

 

Sony has some of the best studios out there.  But only a handful of games make money back for them.  Then when you have other divisions not hitting target numbers....  This happens.

 

I honestly hope all of them find work sooner, rather than later.

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Well the price rise at 60$ and advent of indie/self published games don't help the industry AAA market.

 

They really need to re-think it. At 60$ you think about it twice before buying a game. Specially since for the same price you can buy between 4 and 6 fully priced indie/self published games without all the DRM crap big publishers like to use. And some of them are really high quality titles like the self published Shadowrun Returns sold at 20$ i think and the indie game Legend of Grimrock sold at 15$ i think. Both games have good gfx and enough content to challenge a good chunk of the AAA titles for a fraction of the price. It's amazing that Legend of Grimrock was made by 4 people only and achieve such great technical qualities.

 

They need to aim for smaller teams and focus on gameplay and replayability. A return to the 50$ launch price would not hurt either. The way they are doing things these days they need to sell too much copies to make money.

 

By playing indie and self published title in the last 2 years i was able to find again what was lost in today's video game industry. Originality. AAA games are so cookie cutter these days. Most of them are open world or boring easy made for n00b fps.

 

A game like Limbo is worth 5 AAA titles. It is short but the art is so great. THis game has a soul. Most AAA titles don't.

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Is Sony still in financial trouble?

they're projected to lose 1 billion in 2014....so yeah, I suppose. 

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Is Sony still in financial trouble?

Very much so, yes. This is just part of their ongoing efforts to reign it all in. Their entertainment division might be doing alright, but as a whole, they're hemorrhaging assets to try and recoup losses and get on an even footing. That unfortunately is going to bleed into the entertainment division as evidenced by these layoffs, among others.

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When looking at Sony remember they do have the most 1st party studios, many more than MS and Nintendo who rely a lot on 3rd party.

 

Exactly.  Sony built up that war chest of developer stock back in the ps2 era and they have ridden that wave ever since.  MS could never match the sheer amount of developers due to the cost that such an attempt would require. 

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FYI, Guerilla Cambridge isn't the company behind Killzone: Shadowfall.  They're a satellite campus that did some the Vita Killzone, and the old Medieval games.

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Its Sony's TV and PC divisions that are losing money. Entertainment and PlayStation divisions are making money.

In regards to these developer layoff I think its more to do with the development cycle, they hire more people to try push out a game release and once majority or all of the work is done they let them go and keep the core group.

PS4 is the fastest selling next-gen console and has sold more units than all the other next-gen consoles including the Wii U which had a years head start in sales, I think its safe to say its not in any trouble.

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Its Sony's TV and PC divisions that are losing money. Entertainment and PlayStation divisions are making money.

In regards to these developer layoff I think its more to do with the development cycle, they hire more people to try push out a game release and once majority or all of the work is done they let them go and keep the core group.

PS4 is the fastest selling next-gen console and has sold more units than all the other next-gen consoles including the Wii U which had a years head start in sales, I think its safe to say its not in any trouble.

 

Selling loads of consoles does not necessarily equal financial succes. It's not like Sony (or MS) is making tons of money on each console sold.

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Exactly.  Sony built up that war chest of developer stock back in the ps2 era and they have ridden that wave ever since.  MS could never match the sheer amount of developers due to the cost that such an attempt would require.

 

 

Its Sony's TV and PC divisions that are losing money. Entertainment and PlayStation divisions are making money.

In regards to these developer layoff I think its more to do with the development cycle, they hire more people to try push out a game release and once majority or all of the work is done they let them go and keep the core group.

PS4 is the fastest selling next-gen console and has sold more units than all the other next-gen consoles including the Wii U which had a years head start in sales, I think its safe to say its not in any trouble.

The company as a whole is losing money though. They're not likely to cut a bunch of things from a division that's making money first, but if they don't turn it around, you can bet their entertainment division will be affected. You can say this round is due to dev cycle and that may well be part of it, but I'd be willing to bet if the company wasn't doing so poorly, they wouldn't have bothered laying them off right now. I don't want Sony to do poorly, but you can't just cover your ears because the division you care about is doing well. There's a big picture in there you're ignoring.

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Apparently Drive Club will get it's release date in the following weeks - http://www.videogamer.com/ps4/driveclub/news/driveclub_making_spectacular_progress_release_date_update_due_in_the_weeks_to_come.html

 

So either the game is closed to finish and people are going as they aren't needed now, or the game is a mess and the above is damage control. Take your pick, I did play the game last September and it seemed fine, so who knows.

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Apparently Drive Club will get it's release date in the following weeks - http://www.videogamer.com/ps4/driveclub/news/driveclub_making_spectacular_progress_release_date_update_due_in_the_weeks_to_come.html

 

So either the game is closed to finish and people are going as they aren't needed now, or the game is a mess and the above is damage control. Take your pick, I did play the game last September and it seemed fine, so who knows.

 

 

It did seem fine back then, but then they go and say they pretty much retooled the entire game, so obviously something was not going as they wanted.

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Apparently Drive Club will get it's release date in the following weeks - http://www.videogamer.com/ps4/driveclub/news/driveclub_making_spectacular_progress_release_date_update_due_in_the_weeks_to_come.html

 

So either the game is closed to finish and people are going as they aren't needed now, or the game is a mess and the above is damage control. Take your pick, I did play the game last September and it seemed fine, so who knows.

 

Don't have the article to hand but I spotted on Twitter the director of Evo studios left. Not sure if it was a cut or he left on his own accord, but apparently he is also teaming up with ex-Studio Liverpool devs and they've started a new studio.

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Don't have the article to hand but I spotted on Twitter the director of Evo studios left. Not sure if it was a cut or he left on his own accord, but apparently he is also teaming up with ex-Studio Liverpool devs and they've started a new studio.

 

Suggests that it started in 2013

 

Martin Kenwright, founder of both Evolution Studios and Digital Image Design, has gone public with an ambitious new project based in his home town of Liverpool. New studio Starship was founded in 2013 but is only now making itself known.
 
With Starship, Kenwright plans to go beyond the bounds of his previous games-focused work and take his team's talents to new areas like entertainment and health. Whilst further details are under wraps until E3 later this year, Kenwright makes clear that the studio has its sights set high.

 

 

Source: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-03-26-martin-kenwright-reveals-starship-studio

 

So either his last contract was DriveClub, he knew he'd be leaving, and it's pretty much finished now, or it's needing completely rebooted and a new director.

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Suggests that it started in 2013

 

 

Source: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-03-26-martin-kenwright-reveals-starship-studio

 

So either his last contract was DriveClub, he knew he'd be leaving, and it's pretty much finished now, or it's needing completely rebooted and a new director.

 

 

Makes sense, that's when Sony closed them IIRC. Ian Hetherington who founded Studio Liverpool was also a chairman at Evo, so I guess they were pretty close even before the closures which led to their startup. The downsizing of Evo is probably unrelated then.

 

Wonder what it means for Driveclub though. From what I've read, isn't it supposed to be an "evolving racer", i.e it'll be updated very regularly post-launch?

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Makes sense, that's when Sony closed them IIRC. Ian Hetherington who founded Studio Liverpool was also a chairman at Evo, so I guess they were pretty close even before the closures which led to their startup. The downsizing of Evo is probably unrelated then.

 

Wonder what it means for Driveclub though. From what I've read, isn't it supposed to be an "evolving racer", i.e it'll be updated very regularly post-launch?

 

Evolution Studios aren't going completely, just that one director.

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The title of this thread is somewhat misleading.  Just for those that don't know the layoffs related to Killzone are at Guerrilla Cambridge (formerly SCE Cambridge Studio) which is different (though similarly named) from Guerilla Games.

Guerilla Cambridge only made the Killzone: Mercenary spin-off for the PS Vita NOT the PS3/PS4 main series games.

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Its Sony's TV and PC divisions that are losing money. Entertainment and PlayStation divisions are making money.

As a result Sony is exiting the PC business to focus on mobile by selling the VAIO line to a Japanese investment company and is spinning off TV manufacturing into a wholly owned subsidiary.

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The title of this thread is somewhat misleading.  Just for those that don't know the layoffs related to Killzone are at Guerrilla Cambridge (formerly SCE Cambridge Studio) which is different (though similarly named) from Guerilla Games.

Guerilla Cambridge only made the Killzone: Mercenary spin-off for the PS Vita NOT the PS3/PS4 main series games.

 

Technically it's still a correct title, it just relies on people actually reading/doing some research before commenting about KZ2/KZ3 or Shadow Fall...

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Evolution Studios aren't going completely, just that one director.

 

Yeah I understand, although I think they've had redundancies as well as the director leaving:

 

UK studios Evolution Studios, Guerrilla Cambridge and SCE London Studio have each been affected, and while total numbers have yet to be confirmed, VideoGamer.com understands that numerous people from each studio have been made redundant.

 

http://www.videogamer.com/ps4/driveclub/news/evolution_studios_guerrilla_cambridge_and_sce_london_studio_hit_by_layoffs.html

 

Just a little apprehensive about future support for the game once it's released. Apparently Driveclub is all about social interaction so I'm thinking of something else when I mentioned the "evolved" part in last reply.

 

Hopefully some of the Evo guys can land a place at Starship and maybe pick up where they left off with old colleagues. Looking forward to seeing what they're up to.

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