The departure of Connie Booth, a long-time executive at Sony’s PlayStation division, has sent shockwaves through the gaming community. Initially reported as a voluntary departure, new information has emerged suggesting that Booth was, in fact, terminated from her position. This revelation comes from David Scott Jaffe, a prominent figure in the gaming industry, who claims to have reliable insider sources at Sony.
In a recent video statement, Jaffe shed light on the situation surrounding Connie Booth’s exit. He stated that Booth was not given any prior notice or warning about her termination; it simply “just happened.” This abrupt departure raises questions about the circumstances leading to her exit and the internal dynamics at PlayStation.
Jaffe drew comparisons between Booth’s exit and those of other Sony veterans like Shawn Layden and Allan Becker. According to Jaffe, Becker, a Senior Vice President at Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios until 2020, received notice of his departure near the start of his last week, with his last day being that Friday. Layden, on the other hand, was reportedly escorted out of the building on the same day he left the company.
Booth’s firing, as described by Jaffe, falls somewhere between these two scenarios, hinting at an unsettling trend of abrupt departures within the company.
Jaffe’s sources connected Booth’s termination to Jim Ryan’s plan to transition PlayStation toward live service games. This strategic shift was met with resistance from Sony’s existing studios, who were reportedly unhappy about the change. The tipping point appears to have been the fate of Naughty Dog’s highly anticipated game, The Last of Us Factions.
However, what remains unclear is how Connie Booth became the scapegoat for the fallout that followed. Booth’s extensive history with PlayStation and deep roots within Sony make her an unlikely target for blame.
An intriguing development noted by Jaffe is that members of Connie Booth’s team left the company simultaneously with her. While it is unlikely that they were all fired, the timing raises questions about the reasons behind their departures. Jaffe refrains from speculating further on this matter.
As an additional aside, Jaffe revealed that Hermen Hulst, Head of PlayStation Studios, was in favor of downsizing Sony’s Japan Studio. This decision ultimately led to layoffs within the studio, affecting developers who had worked on titles like Knack, Patapon, LocoRoco, Ape Escape, and Days Gone. The fate of Japan Studio has been a subject of concern for fans of these iconic franchises.
A glimpse into Sony’s internal affairs
While it’s important to note that Jaffe’s sources may not represent the entirety of Sony’s internal affairs, the revelations cast a shadow over the company’s decision-making processes. The gaming community has been granted a rare glimpse into behind-the-scenes turmoil that would typically remain hidden from public view.