Mar 31, 2022 - Technology

Scoop: Sony PlayStation cuts nearly 90 jobs, citing 'global transformation'

Photo of a retail display showing various PlayStation products. Most are sold out.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sony PlayStation has laid off upward of 90 workers in its North American offices, as it eliminates numerous sales and marketing positions.

Driving the news: The previously unreported cuts took effect this week, according to one affected worker who spoke to Axios as well as documents related to the change viewed by Axios.

  • The company is shutting down its “merchandiser” team in the U.S. Roles in that group included PlayStation Representatives, whose jobs often involved going to retail stores to prime them to sell PlayStation products and ensure staffers were knowledgeable about them.
  • It’s also cutting many retail marketing jobs.
  • Sony PR reps did not reply to multiple requests for comment.

Between the lines: The cuts, made at a time when the PlayStation business is thriving for Sony, were attributed by leadership to a “global transformation” of the company’s sales and business operations.

  • One worker who was affected by the layoffs told Axios they were disappointed the company had not told the department about the cuts sooner and felt Sony could have done more to find people alternate roles.

The big picture: The move suggests a shift toward direct-to-consumer marketing and a de-emphasis on retailers and physical game sales.

  • Current Sony job listings for marketing roles include several positions to sell its subscription services, a clear priority for the company given its announcement Tuesday of the rebranded and reconfigured multi-tiered PlayStation Plus offering.
  • Well over half of Sony’s game sales are digital, directly sold to players, a trend accelerated by the pandemic.

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