Layoffs Hit PlayStation VR Worlds Developer Sony London

by Jamie Feltham • September 15th, 2016

Sony’s London Studio is one of its most heavily involved when it comes to PlayStation VR. Sadly, the team has just suffered a round of layoffs.

Sony itself confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that some, but not all, employees at the studio were being laid off. The company told the site that it accepts “that this will mean that we risk losing high calibre staff”, but a restructure is necessary for the company’s future projects. Earlier in the year one of the leading VR pioneers within the company, David Ranyard, left to start his own studio working in VR.

London Studio is the developer behind anticipated PS VR launch title and mini-game collection, PlayStation VR Worlds. It’s a suite of five different experiences, three of which have previously been used as tech demos for PS VR hardware at events around the world. One such demo, then named The Deep, was actually one of the first experiences revealed for the device all the way back in March 2014. It features players diving to the depths of the ocean in a cake, and maybe getting a little too close to a shark.

PlayStation VR Worlds will be included in a launch bundle for PlayStation VR along with two Move motion controllers and the PlayStation 4’s camera. The set costs $499, though the chance to pre-order it is already long gone. A demo for the game will also be included on a disc that comes with every PS VR unit.

Sony’s VR involvement is still strong in the UK. Last year the company launch North West Studio, which will exclusively be making VR games. It’s also adapted one of its most popular UK-developed titles, DriveClub, to support VR.

Though it’s not uncommon for studios to downsize after finishing up work on a project, we do know that London Studio is already hard at work on its next VR title, making these layoffs just a little puzzling. Hopefully as that new title ramps up the developer will expand once more.

PlayStation VR launches on October 13th.

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