PlayStation to close Manchester Studio 

PlayStation’s Manchester Studio is set to close.

In a statement to GI.biz, PlayStation said the closure comes as part of the company’s efforts to “improve efficiency and operational effectiveness”. However, it did not comment on how many people have been affected, but it’s thought the entire studio will be made redundant.

This is now the third UK studio PlayStation has shut down since it launched the PlayStation 4, with Evolution closing in 2016 and Guerrilla Cambridge shuttering in 2017 after both studios were hit by layoffs in 2014. London Studio and Media Molecule are the last two surviving Sony studios in the UK. 

The Manchester studio, which focused on titles for PlayStation’s virtual reality system, took in many of the staff affected by the closure of Driveclub developer Evolution back in 2016. Since it was established in 2015, the studio – which was formerly known as North West Studio – has yet to ship a game, but it had been working on unannounced VR titles.

These latest layoffs sadly come on the back of several other closures and cutbacks we’ve seen across studios in recent months, most recently Fantasy Flight Interactive, Gameloft, Amazon Game Studios and PayDay developer, Starbreeze. In a brief statement on the latter company’s official website, the firm said it had decided to make organisational changes “in order to make the organization more efficient and reduce costs”, resulting in 60 redundancies primarily from its Stockholm office.

Other recent layoffs and closures include Iron Tiger Studios, ArenaNet, Next Games, Forgotten Key, Define Human Studios, Bandai Namco Vancouver, and Trion Worlds. Telltale Games also laid off its staff in a studio closure back in September 2018.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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