Are we the only ones to notice that we are seeing more and more Sony-owned team members being made redundant (or worse, closed down)?
Think about it: PixelOpus, the development team of Concrete Genie, has been closed, then we heard that Deviation Games and another studio, Final Strike Games (with which Deviation worked), have also encountered cuts (and two, or at least ONE game has been affected). That’s three pieces of terrible news, but unfortunately, you can add a fourth.
John Borba previously worked as a developer at PlayStation Visual Arts. He posted on LinkedIn that there had been “a large pivot” on the AAA multiplayer game the team had been working on. There was some restructuring within the studio, and Borba was one of the employees let go because their budget didn’t allow them to keep him on. The project had to be The Last of Us: Factions. That’s what we call the multiplayer title of The Last of Us. In October, several job postings at PlayStation Visual Arts indicated they were working on a mysterious project with Naughty Dog.
Last week, we reported that Naughty Dog needed more time to make The Last of Us multiplayer game, which has been three years in the making. They left multiplayer out of The Last of Us Part II because they had a bigger vision, but then we heard last week that Bungie felt the concept was unsustainable and had to scale things back. The timing is interesting that they almost immediately sacked people from PlayStation Visual Arts, right?
This news of four layoffs shows that Sony is not on the right track with live service games. It will be a vital strategic element for the company, and Bungie (who have already gained a lot of experience with Destiny) will have their work cut out for them because they’re the ones who have to put things right…