PlayStation boss Jim Ryan wants to nurture not purchase studios - report

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan, has been talking to Axios about crossplay. During that interview, he apparently made some significant remarks about the change in first-party philosophy for PlayStation.


Last week, the head of the first party at PlayStation, Hermen Hulst, not only gave us a look into how PlayStation is forming relationships with independent studios, but how the entire operation is being run. Now, according to Axios' Stephen Totilo, Jim Ryan has also opened up about it in some unused excerpts from an interview with the Boss of Sony (see tweet above).

Jim Ryan — aka Sir Business on TT, because he only does business all of the time — said the following when asked about trying to push PlayStation forward without repeating the mistakes of the past. He highlights the "more granular level, [where] our efforts, spearheaded by Mark Cerny, [have been] to embrace the developer perspective." That effort is now apparently feeding the production of first-party titles. "Nurturing creative talent is not as simple as throwing money at it. You must also give them the freedom to be creative, to take risks, and come up with new ideas. [...] The majority of great [PS4] games came in the second half of the cycle. We have made a conscious effort to improve this time round, and what you've seen so far shows we've certainly made progress," Ryan states in reference to Miles Morales, Returnal, and Rift Apart.

A short and sweet bit of analysis for you: this is promising and feeds into what Hulst was saying last week about the new-look PlayStation pipeline. Sony cannot afford to make $7.5 billion acquisitions out of hand like Microsoft, and nor can it then make that money back the next quarter. Nurture simply has to be the route that Sony takes from tip-to-toe of the organisational pyramid and it sounds very much like the team is in place. Hermen Hulst heads up the big first-party group and liaisons with the independent development teams like Haven, Firewalk, and Deviation. Mark Cerny, XDEV, and some of the larger development teams help forge relationships with the independent studios and help suss out what might be good acquisitions for Sony. Shuhei Yoshida now appears to be a talent scout, picking and choosing the best developers from across the globe to feed into the first-party talent pool. Jim Ryan does all the business: all of it. This structure sounds lean and exciting, one that really places Sony back in contact with creatives. Stephen Totilo is well connected, and he followed up the tweet with perhaps the best indication that the new system is currently working: "I've heard from some who say Sony was very receptive to feedback." However, we have to wait to see if it bears fruit because it will all take time, love, and care if it is to succeed!

We also got some cheeky Ghost of Tsushima news out of this which is ready for you to read. What do you think, my fellow industry nerds? Does this excite, or will you sit perched on your opinion until the grapes are ready to be eaten? Let me know in the comments, and I'll be there with you!
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Hey, I'm Kes! I'm a Staff Writer, and I've been here since 2021. What do I like? The Outer Wilds is top notch. The Witcher 3 blew my mind over the course of five years completing it. I want Burnout back — I really miss crunching mechanical wonders into walls to the sound of Guns N' Roses. Cool, now we are acquainted, I'll see you around.