Collectible Maker Says Sony Ordered PlayStation Merch Destroyed

A video game-themed collectible storefront claims Sony ordered it to destroy all of its licensed PlayStation-themed merchandise, chief among them being statues based on The Last Of Us Part II, God of War, and Bloodborne.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong-based collectible storefront Gaming Heads posted an open letter on its official Twitter account and on the home page of its website alleging that Sony had suddenly requested the destruction of its PlayStation collectibles, which Gaming Heads claims Sony had already received royalty payments for. In the open letter, which states that Sony offered no reasoning for the decision, Gaming Heads name-dropped PlayStation’s commercial partnerships manager, including her email address and encouraging customers to reach out to her about their “(now canceled) order, payments, refunds.”

“We have worked with Sony PlayStation for more than 10 years to bring you some of the best video game collectibles and have been trying hard to get them to change their mind,” Gaming Heads wrote. “They know you have paid your hard-earned money for items that are ready to ship to you or that are in production but unfortunately, after doing all that we can, they have told us not to ship your orders to you – ‘our business priorities remain unchanged’ (a recent direct quote from Sony).”

Kotaku reached out to Sony and Gaming Heads for comment.Despite Gaming Heads’ assertion that “this is Sony PlayStation’s decision, not ours,” some customers replied to the company’s post in anger at them, saying they’re the ones being scummy for trying to route refund inquiries to Sony, the licensor, instead of handling it themselves as the storefront they had purchased the collectibles from.

“When I preordered the Joel and Ellie statue, that was a transaction with Gaming Heads. Not Sony,” Trevor Adams replied on Twitter. “You need to refund the money we all gave Gaming Heads to produce these products. Don’t tell us to go to your licensor to get it. What you’re doing is illegal.”

“Telling customers to contact Sony for refunds and giving out Judy’s email address seems very shady and unprofessional,” Twitter user NextGenPlayer wrote. “Customers transacted with your company, not the licensor Sony. This reeks of fishyness and isn’t the whole story here.”

“Customers made business with Gaming Heads, not with Sony. So you guys have to refund. It’s as easy as that,” Thomas Mueller wrote under Gaming Heads’ open letter Facebook post.

“Refund YOUR customers!! They have nothing to do with Sony. They bought a product from you. Not them. How dare you make your problem the customers’ problem!!” Melanie Willems wrote.

Gaming Heads responded to many comments of this nature on Twitter and Facebook, asking customers to reach out to Sony about refunds.

Updated: 10/02/23, 10:15 a.m. ET: Article was updated to remove the name of a Sony employee at the company’s request.

Destiny 2 Maker Bungie Latest PlayStation Studio To Cut Staff

Destiny's main characters stand above The Traveller.

Image: Bungie

Bungie is the latest PlayStation studio to face layoffs. While the scale of the cuts wasn’t immediately apparent, multiple, now-former staff members began posting on social media on October 30 that they’d been let go by the beloved Destiny 2 maker.

“My heart is breaking for all affected…I am now looking for opportunities,” tweeted Destiny 2 community manager Liana Ruppert. “It’s a strange feeling to wake up in the morning excited for the week ahead, only for your day to begin learning that you’ve been hit with a Reduction in Force and are now on the job hunt,” wrote recruiting lead Amanda R. on LinkedIn.

The scale of the cuts and which teams or departments are most impacted isn’t yet clear. They come the same month that fellow PlayStation studio, Naughty Dog, cut dozens of contractors across art, production, quality assurance, and other disciplines. The downsizing comes in a year that’s seen publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take-Two, and Embracer all lay off hundreds, consolidated teams, or closed entire studios. PlayStation rival Microsoft has imposed severe cuts at current first-party Halo studio 343 Industries near the beginning of 2023.

Sony acquired Bungie for $3.6 billion just last year amid an acquisition frenzy across the video game industry. In addition to the popular sci-fi MMO shooter Destiny 2, Bungie is also working on the extraction shooter Marathon as well as another original IP. Bloomberg also previously reported that the studio was involved in an internal evaluation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2 multiplayer spin-off that stopped the project in its tracks. Kotaku reported earlier this month that the game, while not fully cancelled, had effectively been put on ice.

Sony and Bungie did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Update 10/30/2023: Bungie CEO Pete Parsons called today a “sad day” on Twitter. “What these exceptional individuals have contributed to our games and Bungie culture has been enormous and will continue to be a part of Bungie long into the future,” he wrote.


Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Looks Blog by Crimson Themes.