Several developers have announced that they have been laid off from PlayStation’s visual arts group.
Among them is a former high-profile designer Daniel Bellemere wrote:Unfortunately, after a wave of layoffs last week was my last time at PlayStation. Although this is certainly not the news I was hoping for, I am grateful for the opportunity to work with extremely talented colleagues on amazing projects and I will leave with fond memories of my time there.
Belmer is based in San Diego and was working on an undisclosed project. It is unclear whether he works at PlayStation’s Visual Arts Group or at Sony San Diego.
The San Diego-based visual arts services group was founded in 2007 with the goal of growing some of PlayStation’s largest franchises.
Visual Arts Service Group recently came to prominence for its work on The Last of Us Part 1, work that reportedly saw the game brought over to original studio Naughty Dog to finish the project.
Matt Barney, another former employee, wrote: “Goodbye PlayStation/Sony Interactive Entertainment, it was real! 👋 For the past few months, I knew this wave of layoffs was coming. 🌊 I love PlayStation and always will… I mean I stayed when I had a chance to leave, obviously!
Other developers posted on social media that their contracts with PlayStation’s Visual Arts Group were expiring, but it’s unclear whether this was the normal conclusion to the contract term or layoffs.
Artist Sean Teo, who worked on the first part of The Last of Us, wrote on his LinkedIn page: “Hi everyone, my contract at PlayStation Visual Arts has unfortunately ended. I am currently looking for a new role and have the flexibility to work on video games, feature films, and other projects.” Commercial.
2023 has seen widespread reports of job losses across the gaming industry, including at Cambridge, UK-based Frontier Developments earlier this week.
Zen Studios has become the latest studio owned by Embracer Group to experience layoffs.
Embracer announced in May that a major deal had unexpectedly fallen through at the last minute, prompting it to cut its earnings forecast. The deal was reportedly a $2 billion partnership with Savvy Games Group, which is funded by the Saudi government.
This led Embracer to announce in June that it was implementing a “restructuring program” that included “closing studios and winding down projects.”
Embracer has since laid off workers at companies including Gearbox Publishing, Tomb Raider maker Crystal Dynamics, and Knights of the Old Republic remake studio Beamdog.
Saints Row developer Volition also closed in August and is reportedly considering selling Borderlands maker Gearbox, which it acquired in 2021 in a deal worth up to $1.4 billion.
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