PlayStation Visual Arts Suffers Layoffs As Sony Tightens Budget



Story Highlights

  • Sony’s PlayStation Visual Arts studio has recently witnessed a wave of layoffs and internal changes due to a large change in an unannounced multiplayer title. 
  • The layoffs were announced by John Borba, a former project coordinator for the project. John, among many others, was let go because of the company constricting the budget.
  • PlayStation Visual Arts is brewing a heavily-stylized project by teaming with an external studio, and John was the Art Outsourcing Coordinator. He may be talking about the same game.
  • Sony has recently been laying off many devs working in other studios due to budget constraints, such as Deviation Games. It recently announced to shut down PixelOpus studio.

Sony’s noteworthy PlayStation Visual Arts studio has suffered a wave of layoffs and internal changes due to a large pivot on an unannounced AAA multiplayer entry. The news was revealed by PlayStation employee John Borba in his LinkedIn profile, discussing the crisis thoroughly in a new post. The Former Project Coordinator iterated that the giant conglomerate restructured the project to tighten the budget around it.

PlayStation Visual Arts former project coordinator discusses recent layoffs in a new post.
PlayStation Visual Arts’ former project coordinator discusses recent layoffs in a new post.

John Borba was among the people that were let go of the unnamed project to meet the new constricted budget allotted by Sony. The developer elaborates that the whole industry is suffering a series of layoffs and budget constraints, and now PlayStation Visual Arts’ new unannounced project has also fallen prey to the changing times. The amount of employees laid off remains unknown at the time of writing.

The PlayStation Visual Arts studio layoffs are a big deal because Sony has seen similar events in the last few months. For instance, the company has closed its first-party PixelOpus studio working on an awaited project. The studio consisting of a small team, shuts down on June 2nd, and its project will never see the light of day.

Similarly, Deviation Games laid off more than 90 of its employees, and it was creating an exclusive IP for Sony with a budget in excess of $50 million; it was going to release for the PlayStation 5. It is hinted that the WIP title may have been canned behind the scenes, as a former employee accidentally revealed that it was canceled for reasons including cost-cutting. Now, PlayStation Visual Arts studio has also laid off employees for similar reasons.

PlayStation Visual Arts have also been conjuring a multiplayer entry with heavily-stylized elements for Sony, as teased by John Borba. As listed in his resume, John has been working on the game as an Art Outsourcing Coordinator. He seems to state the same AAA project in the new post amid the statement of layoffs. As per the work experience of the PlayStation employee, he has been working on it collaboratively with an external studio.

John Borba's resume listing out the new unannounced project by PlayStation Visual Arts
John Borba’s resume lists the new unannounced project by PlayStation Visual Arts.

While no specific details about the unannounced title are listed, the “heavily-stylized AAA project” part has raised the eyebrows of some gamers. Many rumors surround the secret Sony title, such that it may have been interlinked with Deviation Games, which has laid off many of its employees due to budget cuts. It is also speculated that the devs have helped brew The Last of Us multiplayer game, but no concrete proof supports it.

Regardless, the strongest rumor currently pertains to the multiplayer Horizon game, which is currently in development with features including “unique stylised looks,” as mentioned in its old job listings. No other connections exist between these titles besides the weak link. Regardless, the developers have officially discussed that title, while this has remained unannounced.

All in all, there has been a new movement in PlayStation Studios recently, where Sony is massively reducing its budget and laying off employees to bolster a long-term industry that has caused many developers to lose their jobs. PlayStation Visual Arts is among the recent studios that have become the target of layoffs. 

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