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    Debunked: Sony layoffs explained by Pete Dodd

    EDIT: Ignore everything written below, Pete Dodd has been outed and since banned from GAF.

    Makes sense.

    Itís no mystery that multiple studios within Sony Computer Entertainment have undergone a thinning process lately, with multiple rounds of layoffs, and hiring has slowed down as well, with very few development-related career opportunity ads posted on SCEAís and SCEEís website.

    Yet, it looks like Sony Computer Entertainment of America is now at the beginning of the upwards phase of the recruiting cycle again, and the company posted two new career opportunity ads seeking a recruiter and a recruiting coordinator.

    Within the duties listed there is, of course, ďDeveloping and administering staffing/employment/recruiting programs,Ē and itís very interesting for two positions of this kind to be staffed at the same time, probably meaning that Sony either wants to restructure or expand its recruiting department.

    Incidentally, industry insider Pete Dodd, that is known to have some quite solid sources at Sony, posted a very insightful piece on NeoGAF explaining what may have happened in the past few weeks at Sonyís WorldWide Studios, mentioning that people are connecting dots that donít need to be connected. Be warned that the language is a little strong, but the post is meant for a forum, after all:

    Connecting dots where they donít need to be connected.

    Stig and his team spent almost 100 million dollars on a game that failed every QA test that took. The game sucked. They $#@!canned the game and a lot of the people involved. They offered Stig a spot on barlogís project Ė he didnít want to go from game director to something lesser so he quit.

    This makes sense, right? $#@!ty game, money wasted, people fired, head guy leaves out of ego? I mean that all makes sense.

    Amy Hennig has creative differences about the direction that UC4 should go in. Egos swell, she leaves. Sheís happy, she will make another studio much better when she gets there. Justin Richmond, an ally of Hennigís, gets an offer he canít refuse from Riot. He leaves.

    These things happen. Naughty Dog is going to be fine. UC4 will still be awesome. Riot will be better with the pickup of Richmond and whoever gets Hennig will be better off. The sky isnít falling.

    Guerilla Cambridge is working on a vita game that is $#@! and wonít sell. They slim down as they retool for another project.

    Again Ė this isnít new. This happens a lot.

    The director of Driveclub doesnít deliver the game on time. Given more time the game still needs work. He is replaced.

    Wouldnít you replace him? Wouldnít you $#@!can stigís project that cost them almost 100 mil and had nothing of value to show for it? In fact they should have done it two years ago. The fact they let it go this far is a testament to how much they believed in him after GoW 3.

    And all of this is happening before the fiscal year ends. Is sony trimming fat? Of course. Sony corporation is not in a great spot. So they are tightening up a bit. But a lot of people are connecting dots that donít need to be connected. Hennig/Richmond is about creative differences and ego. Stig is about wasted money and time. Col Rogers (driveclub) is about failing to deliver. Taken on their own they all make sense. Combine them together and you get glenn beck with a chalkboard.

    And Jack Tretton was about money and inability to move up. He will make more money and have more power somewhere else Ė something Sony simply could not offer him. $#@! happens.

    Itís the same with the xbox department guys. People move around. People leave for other companies. $#@! happens.
    Dodd also offered further clarity on Stig Asmussenís canceled project at Sony Santa Monica:

    I heard various numbers between 75mil and 90 mil for Stigís game. I said ďalmost 100″ because, well, both are almost 100 mil. They restarted the game, from scratch, THREE TIMES! And it sucked every time. The whole ďit was too much like destinyĒ thing is bull$#@!. It was more horror-ish and like Dead Space than Destiny. That whole thing was sony jumping on the grenade to help stig save face. And help themselves save face as they wasted a $#@!ing TON of money.
    They started concept on it before GoW 3 shipped. Once GoW 3 shipped the moved to Darkside. They didnít have online or DLC or $#@! like that to worry about. They jumped right into the next project.

    The game initially was supposed to be out this year. Itís been clear for a couple years now that wasnít gonna happenÖ but it does explain the giant hole in their fall lineup. Thankfully for themÖ Driveclub will be there to attempt to fill it, a bit.
    While we should always take what is said by insiders with the proverbial grain of salt, the job opportunities posted today offer further solidity to Doddís post, as itís quite evident that Sony Computer Entertainment is simply taking part in the natural cycle of layoffs and hiring.

    While itís always disheartening to see people leave or lose their jobs, as Dodd says ďpeople move around,Ē and it happens in every industry. Other industries simply donít have hungry press hounding companies in order to create stories that often are made bigger than what they are.
    http://www.dualshockers.com/2014/03/...what-happened/
    Last edited by Bitbydeath; 03-28-2014 at 22:14.

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    It does make some sense and I wouldn't be surprised if most of it turns out to be true. Overall I'm not worried at all about what and how many great exclusives we will see in the future.

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    2 or 3 layoff/firing/departures ago I said it had to be just normal end of fiscal year attrition. But the news just never seemed like it was going to slow down.

    Glad someone is trying to clear the air.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shepard View Post
    2 or 3 layoff/firing/departures ago I said it had to be just normal end of fiscal year attrition. But the news just never seemed like it was going to slow down.

    Glad someone is trying to clear the air.
    Yeah more today from Naughty Dog, I ain't posting $#@! though, I get accused of all sorts of agendas. Yet another one for the insiders to address.
    Last edited by mynd; 03-28-2014 at 00:28.

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    It's a new generation with new opportunities all round. Carmack left his company to work on Oculus for example; sometimes people just want to do other things. With the rapidly changing and evolving industry we love, much of which is a mystery for us in terms of what's coming (i.e Sony's VR) it's little surprise that people are shifting.

    Also, Mynd, people accuse you of an agenda!? Why? It's not like you've shot down anything to do with Sony at every turn for the last half decade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mynd View Post
    Yeah more today from Naughty Dog, I ain't posting $#@! though, I get accused of all sorts of agendas. Yet another one for the insiders to address.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
    It's a new generation with new opportunities all round. Carmack left his company to work on Oculus for example; sometimes people just want to do other things. With the rapidly changing and evolving industry we love, much of which is a mystery for us in terms of what's coming (i.e Sony's VR) it's little surprise that people are shifting.

    Also, Mynd, people accuse you of an agenda!? Why? It's not like you've shot down anything to do with Sony at every turn for the last half decade.
    Nah just the PS3 hardware

    I love the PS4, its a great piece of kit.

    Either way, something is up at Naughty Dog, too many people leaving as opposed to these layoffs.
    I do wonder if the whole two teams approach at studios just doesn't synergisticly work. It appears not to have at Santa Monica either.
    Last edited by mynd; 03-28-2014 at 01:54.

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    Wanting to make joke about cutting a hand and foot off to save the body.. Obviously I'm not to good at that stuff (!) - don't wait up.

    Obviously, if any of this holds true, it will negatively impacts us gamers. Whether we'll aware of it or not though..? It might be healthy for the studio and company.

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    We need to hear directly from some of these people. I am quite surprised no one has really spoken out. Usually if there is a layoff, few employees always speak out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mynd View Post
    Yeah more today from Naughty Dog, I ain't posting $#@! though, I get accused of all sorts of agendas. Yet another one for the insiders to address.
    i don't get why people are freaking out. if studios themselves were closing down then we have a problem. people move on all the time, especially when they're doing well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sufi View Post
    i don't get why people are freaking out. if studios themselves were closing down then we have a problem. people move on all the time, especially when they're doing well.
    I honestly think its a case of 2 teams becoming one again, certain people wont take lesser positions.

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    Look at other studios like bethesda, I'll put money down on it that so far within the last year they had a few people quit. The difference here is you wouldn't hear anything about it, unless it was some head honcho guy from bethesda. Same thing here but with the only difference is that even a janitor quitting Naughty Dog would have it's own article and people would still be in a mass panic.

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    Culling the $#@! is an inevitable part of breeding success, no room for sentiment if you want the best of anything..

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    when ken levine makes one of the best games of 2013 and dissolves his entire studio, goes indie with what 25 people? you know there's a huge trimming going on in the industry right now. it was bound to happen one way or another, it needs to be more sustainable.

    Sony will still spend a lot of money to make their games...in fact, now is the time to be under a big publisher to make big games. thus why respawn sold its soul to EA and Bungie selling it to Activision.

    Sony is going to have the upper hand in all of this because they don't necessarily have to sell their games as much, but to make their console more attractive and with next-gen games more trimmed in budgets, they have a clear advantage to beat them with their high resource/budget titles.

    either way, like i said, unless this closes down a bunch of projects at Sony, i have no reason to panic. even then i would not really panic so much since this is an industry wide thing and Sony would still be the best place to be at overall.

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    Frankly, as long as my pay was the same I really don't much care what my "title" was. I get that it is important for career advancement, but if you're working at Naughty Dog on these flagship titles and are mid to high rank anyway... Well, you're already pretty much set in the game industry.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgotha View Post
    Frankly, as long as my pay was the same I really don't much care what my "title" was. I get that it is important for career advancement, but if you're working at Naughty Dog on these flagship titles and are mid to high rank anyway... Well, you're already pretty much set in the game industry.
    yes but there has to be a way that this is disasterous for Sony.

    overall, the industry is going through some serious changes and these changes aren't positive but the goal is positive. it's like panicking about one company back when the market crashed in 2008....yeah, that hit just about everyone...

    what this should teach us is to start supporting independent developers more. i think indie is going to bring quality/quantity in tune with pricing once more...meaning more gameplay, less bull$#@! (DLC/passes/incomplete games) and cheaper.

    like you know, how it used to be before the publishers became huge and greedy as $#@!.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sufi View Post
    when ken levine makes one of the best games of 2013 and dissolves his entire studio, goes indie with what 25 people? you know there's a huge trimming going on in the industry right now. it was bound to happen one way or another, it needs to be more sustainable.

    Sony will still spend a lot of money to make their games...in fact, now is the time to be under a big publisher to make big games. thus why respawn sold its soul to EA and Bungie selling it to Activision.

    Sony is going to have the upper hand in all of this because they don't necessarily have to sell their games as much, but to make their console more attractive and with next-gen games more trimmed in budgets, they have a clear advantage to beat them with their high resource/budget titles.

    either way, like i said, unless this closes down a bunch of projects at Sony, i have no reason to panic. even then i would not really panic so much since this is an industry wide thing and Sony would still be the best place to be at overall.
    Most of those big named developers that leave want to run their own studio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sufi View Post
    when ken levine makes one of the best games of 2013 and dissolves his entire studio, goes indie with what 25 people? you know there's a huge trimming going on in the industry right now. it was bound to happen one way or another, it needs to be more sustainable.

    Sony will still spend a lot of money to make their games...in fact, now is the time to be under a big publisher to make big games. thus why respawn sold its soul to EA and Bungie selling it to Activision.

    Sony is going to have the upper hand in all of this because they don't necessarily have to sell their games as much, but to make their console more attractive and with next-gen games more trimmed in budgets, they have a clear advantage to beat them with their high resource/budget titles.

    either way, like i said, unless this closes down a bunch of projects at Sony, i have no reason to panic. even then i would not really panic so much since this is an industry wide thing and Sony would still be the best place to be at overall.
    Nailed it. Folks can talk about Respawn and all their "freedom", but then when one of their head-honchos tweets that they "just found out" that Titanfall would Xbox only on the console side.....yeah, how free are they really? Unless you self-publish your games, you are not free. So Respawn, Insomniac, or any other dev shop that depends on a big company to actually produce their game is not an example.

    Like you said, it isn't as if Sony is shutting down a bunch of studios. So contain your glee, Sub, the games are still coming.
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    I'll just stick to "Sony is doomed". If it ain't broke why fix it?

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    Sony layoffs explained by Pete Dodd

    Pete Dodd just got $#@! slapped so Im just going to stop listening to insider conjecture.

    And my heart goes out to Col Rodgers. I wish him and his child all the best.


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    Last edited by mynd; 03-28-2014 at 20:57.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mynd View Post
    Pete Dodd just got $#@! slapped so Im just going to stop listening to insider conjecture.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes he did. Badly.

    Former creative director of driveclub posts at gaf to set the record straight. His name is col rogers

    This is my first post on NeoGAF, and whilst Iím not generally one to deal in internet speculation, I have to put the record straight with regard to Pete Doddís comments above.

    Everything he has said with regard to myself and Driveclub is incorrect. Itís also libellous.

    As Putty (who is a personal friend of mine, and has been for about 25 years) suggests, I left Evo in February for personal reasons. The personal reasons being that my son, who is 4 years old, has been diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome, which is a potentially life threatening condition. I live 220 miles (4 hours drive) away from Evolution Studios, and was away from home 5.5 days a week. Given the circumstances, I could not continue to work there.

    Driveclub is a great game, and the direction hasnít changed since my departure. This has been confirmed by SONY in various press releases over recent days.

    I have no problem in dealing with very large projects, as Iíve been working in the games industry for the last 19 years, and have worked on some very prestigious titles, so there is genuinely no truth to anything posted by Mr Dodds at all. My departure (and indeed the setup of my Ďindieí operation, BigRedSwitch) is 100% driven by family necessity, not some professional failing on my part.

    I left SONY on very good terms. There is no animosity there, and I was absolutely nothing to do with the recent redundancies Ė in fact, the news of those redundancies was probably linked on here before I knew about them.

    The games industry is a tough place at the moment. My circumstances with my son mean that Iíve had to leave secure work in order to try to make my own way in the world. This may entail getting another job. With people who obviously know nothing about the situation blackening my reputation for the sake of internet Ďfameí, this could be made much more difficult. Itís nothing less than trolling.

    Iíve contacted Mr. Dodd on his email address on his site. Due to the factual inaccuracy of his statements, Iíve informed him that he needs to remove the statements and apologise for the damage they have caused, as posting incorrect information and claiming itís true is quite simply libel.

    Iím sure you can all appreciate just how difficult things are for myself and my family at the moment. Iíd genuinely appreciate it if you can take my statements as word from the origin, and realise that there has been no big cover-up when it comes to my departure from SONY/Evo.

    Thanks, all.
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    Last edited by chrisw26308; 03-28-2014 at 21:01.
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    Dbl.



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    Quote Originally Posted by mynd View Post
    Pete Dodd just got $#@! slapped so Im just going to stop listening to insider conjecture.

    And my heart goes out to Col Rodgers. I wish him and his child all the best.
    Just saw that myself. Good to see GAF has gotten onto it and banned him.
    Not cool.

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    so what's going on now?

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