Sucker Punch, the Sony-owned first party studio behind PlayStation franchises like Infamous and Sly Cooper, suffered an undisclosed number of layoffs today.
After rumors began to swirl, Sony confirmed the rumors with an official statement to IGN, saying "SCEA can confirm a reduction in workforce has taken place at Sucker Punch Productions. Sucker Punch is appreciative of the tremendous work team members contributed to the inFAMOUS and Sly Cooper series, and wishes them the best in their next endeavors."
It is still unclear exactly how many employees were let go as a result of the layoff, but the wording of Sony's statement makes it appear that at least some longtime members of the team who worked on the Sly Cooper series have been axed. The last Sly Cooper game developed and released by Sucker Punch was Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves back in 2005 for the PlayStation 2, meaning it is possible some of the employees let go had worked at the studio for close to 10 years. After the release of Sly 3, Sucker Punch focused on the Infamous franchise, a heavy-hitter for Sony's game platforms.
Infamous: Second Son released in March and was an important early exclusive that helped to attract gamers to Sony's new PlayStation 4 console. The first downloadable expansion for Second Son, called Infamous First Light, is set to release on Aug. 26, and Sony is even releasing a Sly Cooper CGI animated movie in the near future.
Sucker Punch was founded in 1997, first making a name for itself in 2002 with the release of the original Sly Cooper game on Sony's PlayStation 2 console, a game that combined a cartoon style with stealth and platforming gameplay to great success. Sony bought Sucker Punch to make games exclusively for Sony platforms shortly after the development studio's success with the first Infamous title in 2009, and since then has released Infamous 2 and Infamous: Second Son.
Sony seems to be riding high on the success of the PlayStation 4, recently announcing more than 10 million consoles sold worldwide. Even though the exact number of employees fired is still unknown, for the company to be enjoying that kind of success but still be forced to layoff employees does not bode well. While Sony's game division continues to succeed, the rest of the electronics giant has struggled for some time. This round of layoffs may come as a result of those financial troubles.