Sony PlayStation lays off sales and merchandising staff


Around 90 employees cut for ‘global transformation’

Sony has laid off “upward of 90” members of staff from its North American PlayStation sales, marketing, and merchandising division. The roles, which provide a point of call between PlayStation representatives and physical and digital retail stores, were reportedly cut as the publisher focuses further on its “direct-to-consumer” mentality.

Originally reported by news outlet Axios, the layoffs come as part of a Sony shift in sales and marketing, readjusting its stance to liaising with purchasers and distributors in a “global transformation” of PlayStation’s retail plan. The restructure comes following a huge shift toward digital game sales in recent years. In 2021, around 65% of all PlayStation titles sold were purchased digitally by Sony’s customers.

Sony expanded its own in-house hardware sales store, PlayStation Direct, to European territories in November 2021, further creating a throughline from the manufacturer to its global customer base. This week also saw Sony announce its rebranded PlayStation Plus program, further focusing on a future based almost entirely within the digital gaming sphere.

Speaking to Axios, one of the now-redundant members of the sales team said that the cuts came with little warning, leaving them and their colleagues disappointed that better efforts were not put in place to ensure that the affected staff members were transitioned to new roles within the company. Adding further frustration, the cuts come at a time of incredible success for the publisher. For the fiscal year ending March 2020, Sony recorded PlayStation revenue in the region of $25 billion USD.