Sony has reportedly laid off 90 amid the shift away from retail


Sony PlayStation has reportedly laid off around 90 employees in North America, apparently to focus more on direct-to-consumer marketing than brick-and-mortar sales.

According to a report by Axios, Sony is closing its US “merchandiser” team, a group made up of people tasked with liaising with retail workers and preparing them to sell PlayStation products. Other retail marketing jobs have also been affected by the layoffs.

The leadership reportedly explained the cuts as part of a “global transformation” of Sony’s sales and operations. This suggests a move away from a focus on retail sales towards direct sales, especially as digital game sales continue to grow and thrive.

Sony has not yet commented on the layoffs.

That same week, Sony unveiled its competitor Xbox Game Pass in a revamped PlayStation Plus that combines the existing PS Plus and PS Now into a three-tier subscription service with up to 700 games. Slated to launch in June, the service will feature a slew of first-party titles at launch, including Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and more. Unlike Xbox Game Pass, however, no first-party exclusives will be included with the service.

Sony was also in the process of expanding its PlayStation Direct program, effectively an online store for selling consoles, games and merchandise directly to consumers without going through retailers. The service launched in the US in 2019 and expanded to Europe and the UK late last year.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine. Sony has reportedly laid off 90 amid the shift away from retail

Fry Electronics Team

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