Shuhei Yoshida has been President of SCE Worldwide Studios since 2008. Sony announced today Yoshida will step down to focus on a new initiative to nurture independent developers. Guerrilla Games co-founder, Hermen Hulst, takes his place as SCE Worldwide Studios head. Sony’s official release states this is effective immediately.
Jim Ryan’s statement is as follows:
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.
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.
Guerilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn released 2017 for the PS4. Hulst has been serving as the studio’s Managing Director. Hulst’s statement goes:
I have worked closely with PlayStation and the entire Worldwide Studios family since 2001, and I have the utmost respect and admiration for the creative talent and ambitious ideas within the network of studios across the US, Europe, and Japan.
I am beyond excited to have the opportunity now to lead such an inspired and talented team whose singular mission is to build amazing games for PlayStation fans.
Yoshida’s new position is meant to ensure PlayStation better supports independent developers, as part of their initiative.
Ryan’s statement continues:
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.
We interviewed Yoshida earlier in the year at Tokyo Game Show 2019. We mentioned back then, and it bears some repeating now; in that the games industry is every changing. We’ll be looking forward to seeing what this change will bring.