Over the weekend, we heard news that Sony Computer Entertainment America had laid off a significant portion of its public relations staff in San Diego. One of the employees affected, veteran PR man and The Tester Season 1 winner Will Powers, took to Twitter this morning to denounce the layoffs and make his thoughts heard on the company’s recent business moves.
Powers’ eloquent and poignant discussion began at 11:33 AM CST, when he mused that "You have to wonder what the hell PlayStation was thinking laying off more than half of their software PR team going into the holiday season." He proceeded to remark that "they’re sending titles out to die" this Christmas, mentioning LittleBigPlanet Karting, Sports Champions 2, and Wonderbook as specific examples of games he believes will suffer without proper PR attention.
Powers also believes that this round of layoffs will only "exacerbate an existing problem", as much of the company’s PR workload is handed off to outside agencies already. According to Powers, the operating costs of internal PR are miniscule compared to the benefits, and layoffs in that department effectively miss the point of hiring outside agencies in the first place. Indeed, Powers questioned the decision-making side of the company further, asking, "What the point of AdHoc multiplayer when no one has a Vita? . . . Sony in general is serving too many masters. Each company should operate autonomously. PlayStation shouldn’t suffer b/c TVs are overpriced."
Before long, the flow of unfiltered thoughts ended with a note of optimism, as Powers professed that these things were all said out of genuine care for the PlayStation brand. It’s a business he surely wants to see succeed, but it’s refreshing to hear the thoughts of a Sony insider who, now jobless, no longer has to hold back and can freely speak his mind about company issues.
What do you think about Powers’ thoughts? Is Sony heading in the right direction, or is PlayStation destined for trouble? Sound off in the comments below.