The PS5 is on the horizon, and Sony Interactive Entertainment's Worldwide Studios seem to be making a lot of internal changes in the lead-up to the next generation. PlayStation announced the abrupt departure of their Chairman of Worldwide Studios, Shawn Layden, about a month ago. The departure was unexpected, and Layden himself still hasn't commented on where he plans to head next. Now, PlayStation have announced that Hermen Hulst will be taking on the role of new head of Worldwide Studios, taking over the job of overseeing all PlayStation studios, and managing Sony's game development. Hulst was previously the managing director of Guerrilla Games, best known for open-world RPG Horizon: Zero Dawn, and the Killzone series. Meanwhile, Shuhei Yoshida is leaving his role as president of Worldwide Studios to focus on independent studios.
Horizon: Zero Dawn was highly popular, so Sony Interactive Entertainment will certainly have a capable head on its shoulders with Hulst. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan was enthusiastic about the addition. "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. I have no doubt Hermen can lead our teams to deliver compelling and diverse experiences at a steady cadence."
Yoshida's role change seems to be more of a shift in focus. He'll be focusing on smaller, independent studios, and reporting to Jim Ryan. "Everybody knows just how passionate Shu is about independent games", said Ryan. "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." It seems Yoshida and Hulst's roles will be complimentary. Ryan says that Worldwide Studios in general won't be making "a game for one specific European country" which he says "might have been the case back in the PSP times with Invizimals [which was popular in Spain]"; he thinks "this will be where Shuhei Yoshida's new task...will come in. If we are nimble, flexible and global, we can work with smaller developers to allow those countries' specific needs to be met."
There's just about a year until the PS5 is expected to release, sometime in Holiday 2020. Sony is reshuffling and restructuring with these recent departures, acquisitions, and changes in focus, and it'll be interesting to see where they go next as 2020 approaches.
We've got the full list of Horizon: Zero Dawn trophies - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
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