Developers of The Getaway & The Getaway 2 for PlayStation 2 and most recently the upcoming London: Heist for PlayStation VR are no more according to reports. Sony Computer Entertainment London had been a first party owned development team based in the U.K. since 2004 when Sony folded ‘Team Soho’, creators of The Getaway franchise, into the now defunct subsidiary.
Members of the team affected by the lay-offs include senior development staff, artists, programmers and others. In a statement issued to GamesIndustry.biz Sony Computer Worldwide Entertainment said these staffing changes were the result of “regular reviews”
“Unfortunately, there will be a number of compulsory redundancies within the London Studio. We accept that this will mean that we risk losing high calibre staff whose projects have reached completion and where possible, we will try to reallocate people to new projects currently being nurtured.”
Sony has positioned the lay-offs as a routine business decision often made when projects have been completed. For the members of Sony Computer Entertainment London it must be frustrating to have finished work on a project only to have your employer pass you a pink slip or offer you a position within an other team. Sadly, it has become commonplace within the industry as team sizes swell and the budgets for AAA games balloon into the hundreds of millions.
London Hiest was one of the earliest demonstrations shown by Sony for then code-named “project morpheus” and tasks players with tanking on elaborate hiests using an innovative control system where the PlayStation Move controllers act as the players arms and hands, allowing for immersive gun-play. It will be available alongside the PlayStation VR headset on October 13th.
Sony Computer Entertainment London was quite acquainted to trying to innovate on Sony’s latest hardware – they also had a hand in the development of Eyepet for the PlayStation Move back in 2010.