David Karraker, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA)’s senior director of corporate communications, has confirmed to Gamasutra a restructuring effort at the company’s Foster City headquarters.
The news was first reported by weblog Kotaku
, which learned of the redundancies via a member of staff affected, and reported that around eighty to one hundred staff had been laid off. Severance packages were apparently described as “fair”.
The layoffs allegedly came as a surprise to most staff, despite Sony admitting as recently as last month that “streamlining measures” across the game group
may be necessary.
These comments came after Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) was forced to lay off almost 10 percent of its staff
(around 160 employees). Sony has denied that any of the redundancies are related to the so far weak sales of the PlayStation 3, with Japanese spokesman Satoshi Fukuoka previously commenting that they were “a response to changes in the game industry, including a shift to online distribution of software from packaged software sales."
Although Karraker has not indicated the total number of staff affected at SCEA, he did confirm the company's efforts in an official statement, stating: “In an effort to accurately align the company to meet the changing needs of our consumers and of our industry, Sony Computer Entertainment America has found it necessary to analyze our current business and to restructure the company as necessary to continue our standing as the market leader."
"These restructuring efforts are currently underway and do include the streamlining of our operations and other initiatives to further strengthen the business, reduce costs and increase operational efficiency", he added.