Update, 12:26 p.m., 10/24/23:
Game Informer has contacted Sony and PlayStation following a report by Sports Illustrated’s GLHF regarding potential layoffs at Media Molecule. Sony Interactive Entertainment responded by directing us to Media Molecule’s Twitter account, where the studio shared a message related to the situation:
“[Insert Twitter message from Media Molecule here]”
Original story, 9:32 a.m., 10/24/23:
Media Molecule, the studio known for developing Dreams and LittleBigPlanet, is reportedly planning to lay off approximately 20 employees. Sports Illustrated’s GLHF has released a report stating that news of the impending layoffs was disclosed during an internal meeting held today.
According to GLHF, these layoffs will result in a 15 to 20% reduction in team staff, with the headcount expected to go from 135 to 115. The report does not specify the reason for these layoffs other than staff reduction. To gather more information and confirm the layoffs and associated numbers, as well as to inquire about the reasons behind them and the possibility of severance packages for affected employees, Game Informer has reached out to PlayStation. We will provide further updates if we receive any response from PlayStation.
Prior to being acquired by PlayStation in 2010, Media Molecule was an independent studio. The studio is behind notable titles such as LittleBigPlanet, LittleBigPlanet 2, Tearaway, and Dreams. Check out our reviews for LittleBigPlanet 2 and Dreams on Game Informer’s website.
Unfortunately, these reported Media Molecule layoffs add to the growing list of staff reductions in game development studios that have occurred this year, despite 2023 being an exceptional year in terms of game releases. In January, Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees while finalizing its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which was completed earlier this month.
In August, Striking Distance Studios, responsible for last year’s The Callisto Protocol, laid off over 30 employees. The same month, BioWare, the developer of Mass Effect and Dragon Age, released 50 employees, including long-time veterans of the studio. In September, Ascendant Studios, the developer behind Immortals of Aveum, laid off about 45% of its workforce.
This month, Naughty Dog, the developer of The Last of Us, let go of at least 25 employees. Additionally, Telltale Games also underwent layoffs, but the exact number of employees affected has not yet been disclosed.
The Game Informer staff extends their sympathies to all those impacted by these layoffs and expresses solidarity with the remaining employees at Media Molecule.