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SCE: Games Division Unlikely To Have Major Layoffs

SCE says that Sony Corp.'s imminent headcount reduction for up to 16,000 employees and planned restructuring measures will likely not affect its games division, and will mostly concern the company's electronics business.
Sony Computer Entertainment says that Sony Corp.'s imminent headcount reduction and planned restructuring measures will likely not affect its games division, and will mostly concern the company's electronics business, according to reports. With Sony Corp. revising its annual projections yesterday to reflect an expected operating loss of ¥260 billion ($2.9bn) -- the company's first loss in 14 years -- the company accelerated its restructuring plans with up to 16,000 job cuts planned. The layoffs, however, will likely not affect Sony's games division. "As was the case with the previous Sony restructuring announcement, this mainly concerns our electronics business," says a company spokesperson, according to a report from UK industry site GamesIndustry.biz. The spokesperson's claims come in spite of a Sony presentation slide indicating that the company will implement restructuring initiatives and lay off portions of its pictures, music, and game businesses as part of its efforts to double its cost-cutting target to ¥250 billion ($2.8bn) for the financial year ending March 2010. The company's games division, once one of its most profitable areas, is now struggling to get back in the black and is expected to report losses of up to ¥30 billion ($338 million) for the fiscal year, with half of that attributed to lower than expected sales. Despite the games businesses troubles, Sony's underperforming electronics divisions seems to be the company's primary concern, as it has already announced the shuttering of a television production plant and a 30 percent reduction in its worldwide TV operations' headcount. SCE Europe president David Reeves also reassured employees in December that mass layoffs wouldn't reach the PlayStation division, describing the company's game development staff as an "investment" and stating, "We're not scaling back at all." "Sony live and die on the innovative projects they bring out," Reeves said at the time. "In our division, we're still continuing to develop the products which we put in our mid-range plan six months ago, one year ago." "As long as we plan prudently, I think we will be fine," he added. "We have a good business model. People will continue to buy the hardware, continue to buy the software. I'm convinced of it."

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