After the Layoffs Sony is Now Working on Hiring Again; Insider Explains What Happened

It’s no Mystery that multiple studios within Sony Computer Entertainment have undergone a thinning process lately, with multiple rounds of layoffs, and hiring has slowed down as well, but apparently recruiting is starting again, with the hiring of new... recruiters. In the meanwhile insider Pete Dodd explains what probably happened at Worldwide studios.


Update: added further information from other insiders to complement what was already included.

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NYC_Gamer2735d ago

I figured that Jack like Marc from MS both left due to being offered more money else where.

xHeavYx2735d ago

Wow, Stig spent $100M on a game that failed? No wonder he was kicked out

AsimLeonheart2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

When you make huge mistakes and become a liability for the company instead of an asset then you are bound to get the axe. People who are criticizing Sony for developer's leaving act like it is Sony's moral duty to hire all these developers for their lifetimes and raise their families regardless of their performance. Sony is running a business and when employees perform poorly or hurt the parent company then they need to be relieved of their positions.

tokugawa2735d ago Show
chrismichaels042735d ago

Before people start raising alarms, they need to understand that maybe Sony has very good reasons to let go of certain people based on poor performances (like Stig Asmussen that spent close to $100 million rebooting a game over and over that just wasnt turning into anything good). Sony is a global company that has been in the videogame industry for over 20 years. i think its safe to say Sony knows what they are doing.

cell9892735d ago

I think it was too soon to put him at the helm of a new IP, must have sucked for him to be under all that pressure, but he stepped up to the task, and failed. GOW 3 was amazing, but that was an established IP, which helped him out. This new IP after the 2nd time they should have given up on it and move on to something completely different, instead of sticking to the same concept. 70+ million dollars is a lot of money, I hope they at least kept the game assets that can be used by some other creative director in another game.

Sony loves putting out new exclusives all the time, so when their game directors cant deliver, they have to move on.

I take all this with a bucket full of salt, but it does make sense

Charybdis2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

Would be nice to know why those games failed to deliver and were delayed and or cancelled

nicksetzer12735d ago

"nsider Pete Dodd explains what probably happened at Worldwide studios."
So we are taking the "probable" word of an insider (who is wrong more than right) as fact now????

Abriael2735d ago

@nicksetzer1: No, that's why it's a "rumor." and not "news."

Mind you, the recruitment ads are fact.

GameNameFame2735d ago

Sony is recruitying. So they are not down sizing at all

SniperControl2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

Back in the day, a colleague of mine worked for a big well known game maker based in the UK, he says that staff movement with-in the industry is quite common, in fact he came to my company about 10 years ago because we offered him a better wage. It happens people move jobs, people get sacked.

Folks on here like to make mountains out of molehills.

Pon42735d ago

No kidding really shirlock

redwin2735d ago

Or they are trying to please the investors by going in the black by way of attrition . Whatever the case maybe, it seems that Sony is gearing up for some big guns in a few years.

ZodTheRipper2735d ago

I am not worried about these layoffs, I think that all this shows that Sony is
1.) aiming for high quality in their games
2.) not rushing anything out
3.) seriously trying to make profits again

I could imagine that Guerilla Games will be next if their new IP isn't fulfilling expectations ...Shadow Fall did good but we all know that it could have been much better in many departments. Just make sure you don't lose the wrong people, I'm sure every studio has some seriously talented developers.

Kayant2735d ago


"who is wrong more than right" - Wait you definitely can't be talking about Mort here. He has the best track record last year and this year of all the big three (CBOAT and thuway). He's been right almost every time. As like Abriael said this is also classed as a rumour you don't have to believe it if you want.

hellzsupernova2734d ago

Yeah there is a fine line that Sony is trying to tread, between developer freedom and profitability.

abzdine2734d ago (Edited 2734d ago )

i like this article.
Thanks to the writer!! it was also what i expected.

Great times coming, great times!!!

asmith23062734d ago

"Stig spent $100M on a game that failed?" - What game was that??

guitarded772734d ago

This is the way I pictured it... this happens all the time, but we don't notice as much because it doesn't happen all at once.

One thing I think Sony should have done was hang on to Jack. He is worth the extra money. Even if he can't "move up" right now, give him another title and pay him more. Make him stay.

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-Foxtrot2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

See isn't it nice when we get some insight on the situation.

Now we know...

"Amy Hennig has creative differences about the direction that UC4 should go in"

Hang on...she's the creative director, so if it's differences between her and the team, especialy like the rumours claimed was with Neil then it's none of their business really. The concept of Uncharted came from her, she planted the seed and the team watered it. Being the creative director if she believed in her idea, she most likely would of wanted to see it through. If it succeeded the team would look like fools for arguing, if it failed she would take responsibility and most likely leave then

If it was differences from Sony then different story....they are above her.

God I hope they haven't done something bad to Uncharted. Imagine if they actually did get rid of Nathan Drake or set it far in the past where the game doesn't look like the Uncharted we all know and love.

Neil wanted to kill off Elena in Uncharted 2.....says it all really. I love his writing but if he has taken over and now has more of an input I hope he doesn't make the game go dark.


Holy shit I never knew Justin Richmond left aswell. So there goes the Creative Director and the Game Director....what the f***.

Seriously if Uncharted 4 dosen't look or feel like an Uncharted game at least we know who NOT to blame.

TheDarpaChief2735d ago

Nd is heading that way due to tlou. I called it immediately.

N311V2735d ago

It may well have been creative differences from Sony. I recall that it was Sony calling for Uncharted to target an older demographic.

"So the big push from Sony, not just at Naughty Dog but at all of Sony’s development companies at the time, was to craft games for PlayStation 3 that were much more realistic."

"We had a lot of internal grumbling about the realist bent. More of the old dogs were from the Crash and Jak era and preferred that more whimsical style. But alas, that was a losing battle.”

Ducky2735d ago

This is an intentional move on the part of ND.
By getting rid of the creative and game directors, they can now learn what being uncharted is all about.

Gotta admire their devotion to authenticity.

Jay70sgamer2735d ago

This is coming from dual shockers always pro Sony ....this is all a spin as to why Sony is having problems in their Sony gaming division ...I can make a spin and say the reason why all these executives are leaving is because Sony playstation Parent company Sony corp wants to cut the salary of their top execs and cut spending in the gaming division ....see how that works it's all a spin no company losses this many execs in such a short period of time when the (gaming)company is doing well at the moment ...maybe the execs know something you and I don't know ...ever think of it as that .....

_FantasmA_2735d ago

Elena was lame anyways. Typcial boring, blonde. Chole was hot and had a mischevious but mysterious personality. I don't care for Uncharted but after 4 games of the same thing, they need to do something new.

Thatguy-3102735d ago

Uncharted 3 wasn't all that great. Character dynamic and a lot of the things were off when released. Neil in Bruce were one of the main once behind Uncharted 2. Whatever they decide to do with the series I know they won't do wrong. They proved it with Among thieves and they knocked it out of the park with The last of us.

Dee_912735d ago

To be honest, I thought she left because she was tired of working on UC.. I mean any creative person wouldn't want to keep working on the same thing year after year.
With that said I think the "creative differences" was her wanting to end the series and start something new.. Sony wasn't having that lol

ssj272735d ago

games just like music and movies.. news and books have a agenda by the publisher who are usually the controlled and ruled by the Illuminati and yes they are real..

Conzul2734d ago

Uncharted doesn't need to go all dark, but as it is - it's just too lightweight. A happier medium should be found.

OT: This is one of the best/most informative articles I've read on this site since, like, Ever.

QuickdrawMcgraw2734d ago

I am a UC fan,but UC3 was weak compared to 1 and 2...I thought TR bested it by a long shot...Now I am looking forward to a great UC4 made by a refreshed and motivated team.....

Angeljuice2734d ago (Edited 2734d ago )


" Hang on...she's the creative director, so if it's differences between her and the team, especialy like the rumours claimed was with Neil then it's none of their business really."

I take it that you've never been involved with a collaborative creative project then? When creating something in this way, you all have to be singing from the same hymn book. It is extremely difficult to get a decent result when your team doesn't share your creative vision.

When everyone is excited and engaged by a project, the creative ideas flow, when there is a split in the vision of the project's future it can destroy the project before it starts. You don't come up with good ideas when you have no faith in the path the project is taking.

If you were asked to produce a 10,000 word dissertation on your favourite subject, you would have no end of good ideas, ways of engaging the reader, you'd likely have interesting ways to make your points and personal opinions really hit home. You may even have difficulty condensing all you have to say into 10,000 words.

Now imagine having to write that dissertation about a subject you have no interest in whatsoever. You'll likely struggle to get past 500 words before the ideas dry up. It will be a much harder paper to write and the end result will not be nearly as good.

In a situation where there is a big rift in the aims of the senior management, it is almost always best to restructure the team accordingly.

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Evilsnuggle2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

This is what I said !! everything that Pete Dodd said and I'm not a insider. Anyone who is looking in from the outside can see The last of us guys wanted to reboot Uncharted . Drive Club should be in 1080p 60fps just like forza 5 . Do you know how much crap Microsoft and the xbone fanBoys would talk if Drive Club is not in 1080p 60fps. The PS4 fans have been rubbing the PS4 spec in Microsoft and the xbone fanBoys face sense the launch of Xbone. But now forza 5 is in 1080p 60fps and Drive club can't be released unless it's equal. That would be a P.R nightmare After Sony has been bragging . That PS4 is more powerful than X1. Sony is cutting the dead weight an people are given Sony Flack for that . Fanboy should shut the hell up and let Sony run it's business stop arm chair quarterbackin. This guy lost a 100 million dollars now Sony is serious about it 1 party studios . Sony should fire everyone who is not performing. You FanBoys would be mad as hell if Sony released a bad game and you bought it. This is great news that Sony is firing people and hiring new people in their place. People who can get the job done right. Jack trent need to be fired letting a studio waste 100 million dollars. Sony needs someone to be a hard @$$ mofo ball breaker As CEO of Sony games studios.

incredibleMULK2735d ago ShowReplies(5)
kenshiro1002735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

Just as I suspected...Sony is trimming the fat. There may have been people in their company who was wasting money in the first place.

iamnsuperman2735d ago

Jack leaving was pretty obvious. Where else could he go in Sony? He is at the head of the biggest wing of Sony and it would be highly unlikely for a Japanese company to hire an American to even senior management position. Jack is leaving because he wants to head up a bigger company and one day he might even be the CEO of one. Which I wish him good luck.

showtimefolks2735d ago

We all agree layoffs suck but bottom line is sony has been one of the best publishers in the world. They allow games that won't sell that much to be made and released

games like Ratchet and clank,sly,jak,journey,rain etc,

stig deserved all the credit for GOW3 but let's be honest if you have had that much time and let's even say 50 million and nothing to show for it than sony has every right to cut its losses and even than offered to move him to another team

I for one and glad sony is making these decisions early in the next gen than loose millions upon millions

Christopher2734d ago

***And Jack Tretton was about money and inability to move up. He will make more money and have more power somewhere else – something Sony simply could not offer him. Shit happens.***

I actually don't believe this. I could be wrong, but I've never seen Tretton as a guy who did it just for the money.

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Kayant2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

Wait Stig's project cost nearly 100million and was *REBOOTED* 3 times in 4 years. Damn! If this is true then probs to Sony for trying but I think they should have given up soon.

ltachiUchiha2735d ago

Yeah Sony is fair with their devs & if u keep screwing up especially when that much money is wasted then I would have done the same thing. I wouldve cut him way before this.

cell9892735d ago

yeah if this indeed was true, big props to SWWS for giving Stig so much opportunity and give him the freedom to do what he wanted on his project, it just sucks that in the end it didnt work out. Other Publishers would have never allowed that much freedom and retries.

PoSTedUP2735d ago

well, that clears That up. no more need to worrie and blow things out of proportion with crazy conspiracies.

robtion2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

But how will sites get hits without blowing things out of proportion and sensationalising things? Actual journalism you say? Sounds like too much hard work ;)

PoSTedUP2735d ago

...? what is this "je-r-r-nal-ism" you speak of?

spunnups2734d ago (Edited 2734d ago )

Based on the Campaign alone....U2 > U1 > U3

Was not a fan of the villain in U3 or the story in general. I looked
forward to playing throught the previous two installments of the series and Platinumed both in no
time...but Uncharted 3....i dreaded, it almost became a tiresome, SOMEWHAT boring chore.

The multiplayer and coop were amazing and that
is what kept the disc from being ejected for
so long.

My point is, if Mrs Hennig was the main person behind U3s direction, no offense, but good riddance.

OpieWinston2735d ago

There's the damage control rumor thread.

I honestly hope that they start hiring again. Or else my PS4 turns into a door stop until they fund Jak and Daxter/TLOUS Sequel.

Also...just reading this "article" you can tell it's some BS damage control.

Please Sony start hiring again.

Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo need to keep hiring.

Abriael2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

If they didn't want to hire again, why they'd hire a recruiter and a recruiter coordinator, at the same time?

Considering the recent rounds of layoffs, I seriously doubt they intend to hire people to warm desks.

OpieWinston2735d ago

Dualshockers article is more damage control.

Everyone understands that they intend on hiring people for further game development but it's not hard to connect some of the dots here.

Amy Hennigs leaving when TLOU movie is announced a few days after. Pretty easy.

Company has finally started to be making a profit and could finally start to offset some of it's "liabilities". So yes they will be hiring but no where close in the numbers that they've been laying off and losing.

And we all know that Uncharted PS4 will HOPEFULLY be getting delayed since it's been taking some major creative hits. Don't want the game to have a lack luster ending.

Abriael2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

@OpieWinston: LOL. A game loses two people and should be delayed?

Do you have the slightest idea of how big is the team of a game like Uncharted? It's not made by individuals or star players, but by a LOT of people working together on it. Two people, as relevant people as they may be, won't impact it one bit.

Almost no one is indispensable in game development.

And by the way, especially a company like Naughty Dog is made by a whole lot of "star players", starting by an incredible engineering team all the way up to great leadership. Losing two won't even make a dent.

OpieWinston2735d ago

So Uncharted lost two of the biggest devs who are responsible for bringing Uncharted to where it is today...and your response is that it won't be effected? We'll see when Uncharted PS4 comes out...

Probably see an amazing looking game with overused combat scenarios and a shitty predictable story.

Bring on the Disagrees N4G Sony fanboys.

And yes game development is like sculpting...If you keep changing people up you get a morphed final product because they all had different ideas of what they wanted the final product to be.

Kayant2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

Not only that remember that nintendo new piece I commented on. They are still hiring just look on there jobs sections on their site. But if Mort is to be believed on what happened at SSM then it all makes sense so does the driveclub departure for not meeting the target. The Naughty dog case also makes sense in a way and sounds plausible.

99 listed here atm.

Is this damage control? Who knows. However, this is a very good explanation on how things could have gone down. The SSM case I believe maybe not the 100m but I believe that project was not going well considering the amount of people that were laid offs compared to for insist what happened to SCEE studios.

scott1822735d ago

Some people want games to be affected by this so much they wont listen to reason and wont even consider the fact that Sony hired a recruiter and recruiter coordinator.

BitbyDeath2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

'The Last of Us' movie was announced last year.
Also she had nothing to do with the game or the movie.

Bundi2735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

Dualshockers to the rescue!! Seriously, they need to knit you guys a costume over at Sony. Does anybody know if Captain Damage Control is taken?
We just need a catch phrase now; "Captain DC on the case!"...we may have to talk to Warner Bros bout that one...Maybe "CDC here to eradicate the problem" ...dammit, all these brick walls!

Don't worry champ, we'll burn the midnight oil and come up with something original and fitting of the damage control DualShockers does for Sony...DC DS 4 Sony...there could be something there....

On topic: this article is damage control. I vote Dualshockers to be one of those shill sites we hear about. Just my opinion, hope N4G can respect my right to conclude and share that.

tiremfej2734d ago (Edited 2734d ago )

@Bundi from what I can tell...Abriel makes money for every click to that site. So why not sensationalize a bit?

It's great the way the internet economy works. "I'll just post crap articles on a website that generates clicks based on headlines, and I'll make money".

Have to hand it to him. I wish I had the idea. So he is a shill, at the very least for his own website.

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2735d ago Replies(2)
kenshiro1002735d ago (Edited 2735d ago )

What damage control?

If people would have waited for actual news instead of flying to conclusions like they own stocks or something, they would have seen that maybe Sony got rid of people who was wasting time and money.

Oh wait....its only damage control who want Sony to fail.