Several developers have announced that they have been let go from PlayStation’s Visual Arts Group.
Among them is a former high-profile designer Daniel Bellemeyer wrote:Unfortunately, last week was my last time on PlayStation after a wave of layoffs. While it’s certainly not the news I was hoping for, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with extremely talented colleagues on great projects, and I’ll go back with fond memories of my time there.
Bellmer lives in San Diego and was working on an undisclosed project. It is unclear whether he works for PlayStation’s visual arts group or Sony San Diego.
The San Diego-based visual arts services group was founded in 2007 with the goal of growing some of PlayStation’s biggest franchises.
Visual Arts Services Group recently gained notoriety for its work on The Last of Us Part 1, which reportedly brought the game to original studio Naughty Dog to complete the project.
Matt Barney, another former employee wrote: “Goodbye PlayStation/Sony Interactive Entertainment, it was real! 👋 For the last few months I knew this wave of layoffs was coming. 🌊 I love PlayStation and always will… I mean I do.” Obviously when I had the chance to leave I stayed!
Other developers have announced on social media that their contracts with PlayStation’s Visual Arts Group are expiring. However, it is not clear whether this was the normal end of the contract period or layoffs.
Artist Sean Teo, who worked on the first installment of The Last of Us, wrote on his LinkedIn page: “Hello everyone, unfortunately my contract with PlayStation Visual Arts has ended. I am currently looking for a new role and have the flexibility to work on video games, feature films and other projects Commercially
There have been numerous reports of job losses across the gaming industry in 2023, with UK-based Frontier Developments in Cambridge earlier this week.
Zen Studio is the latest Embracer Group studio to experience Layoff.
Embrace said in May that a major contract unexpectedly fell through at the last minute, prompting the company to cut its profit forecast. The deal was reportedly a $2 billion partnership with Savvy Games Group, funded by the Saudi government.
This led to Embrace announcing in June that it was implementing a “restructuring program” that would involve “closing studios and discontinuing projects”.
Since then, Embracer has laid off employees from companies such as Gearbox Publishing, Tomb Raider creator Crystal Dynamics and Knights of the Old Republic remake studio Beamdog.
Saints Row developer Volition also closed in August and is considering selling Borderlands maker Gearbox, which it acquired in 2021 in a deal worth up to $1.4 billion.