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New Head of Sony Worldwide Studios Confirmed, Shuhei Yoshida Heads New Independent Developer Initiative

There's a bit of reshuffling since Shawn Layden stepped down.

At the end of September, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) announced that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden would be leaving. At the time a successor wasn’t revealed but that has now happened today. Guerrilla Games’ Hermen Hulst has been appointed Head of Worldwide Studios (WWS) effective immediately.

Having co-founded Amsterdam-based Guerrilla Games back in 2000, the studio is best known for the Killzone franchise and most recently Horizon Zero Dawn, which launched in 2017 for PlayStation 4. The studio is also responsible for developing proprietary game engine Decima, which has been used to create a number of videogame including Death Stranding by Kojima Productions.

As head of WWS, Hulst will now oversee all game development across the 14 studios under the WWS umbrella – which still includes Guerrilla which Sony Computer Entertainment acquired in 2005.

“Hermen is one of the most effective and well-respected leaders in the video game industry. He is a passionate advocate for the teams he leads and understands how to empower creative talent to build great experiences,” said Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment in a statement. “Worldwide Studios is a critical part of the future success of the company, and we must deliver on the promise we have made to gamers to create imaginative and exciting content that is truly unique to PlayStation. I have no doubt Hermen can lead our teams to deliver compelling and diverse experiences at a steady cadence.”

Shuhei Yoshida

In addition to Hulst’s announcement, SIE has also confirmed that PlayStation veteran Shuhei Yoshida will leave his role at WWS to lead a new company initiative. This will be focused on supporting external developers, ensuring they all have the necessary tools, technology, and services to make successful products for PlayStation gamers.

“I am thrilled to announce Shu Yoshida as head of this new initiative. Everybody knows just how passionate Shu is about independent games – they are the lifeblood of the industry, making our content portfolio so special for our gamers. These wildly creative experiences deserve focus and a champion like Shu at PlayStation who will ensure the entire SIE organization works together to better engage with independent developers through a culture of supporting and celebrating their contributions to PlayStation platforms,” added Ryan.

As their roles develop, VRFocus will keep you updated.

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