Sony Interactive Entertainment has laid off over 90 workers from its North American business.
That’s according to Sony documents seen by Axios, who also spoke to one affected employee, the cuts were focused on the company’s sales and marketing departments.
A VGC source independently verified the layoffs, claiming 93 staff had been cut, including virtually the entire retail marketing channel.
Sony didn’t respond to request for comment prior to the Axios story’s publication, but in its internal messaging to staff, leadership said the cuts were part of a “global transformation” of its sales and business operations.
PlayStation Plus Monthly Games - PS5 & PS4 - April 2022
The platform holder is closing its “merchandiser” team in the US, which includes staff whose jobs involve visiting retailers to brief them on the company’s products.
Traditional retail’s importance is waning, with digital now accounting for well over half of PlayStation’s software sales, and the company has been increasing its focus on direct-to-consumer marketing for several years now.
Its US arm launched PlayStation Direct to sell consoles, games and accessories direct to consumers in September 2019.
“PlayStation Direct has achieved significant revenue in the US market within little more than a year of starting operations,” SIE CEO Jim Ryan said in May 2021, when the company also confirmed plans to launch its online store in Europe.
Boosted by its expansion to new countries, Ryan said PlayStation Direct was expected to generate over $600 million during Sony’s fiscal year ended in March 2022.
PlayStation Direct launched in Germany and the UK in November 2021.