Sony announced today that Shuhei Yoshida is stepping down from his position as head of Worldwide Studios. Yoshida has been President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios since 2008 and has become a beloved figure in the games industry that will always be associated with the success of the PlayStation 4.
Don't worry, Shuhei Yoshida is not leaving Sony. He will still be involved with games, but on a smaller scale. Yoshida is leaving his current role to lead a new project that will be "celebrating external developers that are creating new and unexpected experiences." What exactly this means is not known at present.
To replace Yoshida as head of Worldwide Studios, Sony is bringing in Guerrilla Games managing director and co-founder Hermen Hulst to take over the position. Guerrilla Games has been a studio very close to Sony for decades, working on the Killzone games for many years and most recently putting out Horizon: Zero Dawn. Hulst has also worked with Kojima Productions on Death Stranding. Hulst has been with Guerrilla since 2001 when it was still using the name Lost Boys Games before being renamed to Guerrilla to work on the first Killzone in 2003.
In an interview with gamesindustry.biz PlayStation CEO and president Jim Ryan discussed the upcoming changes.
"Hermen is one of the most effective and well-respected leaders in the video game industry," Ryan said. "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."
In regards to Yoshida's new role, Ryan said "everybody knows just how passionate Shu is about independent games - they are lifeblood of the industry, making our content portfolio so special for our gamers. These wildly creative experiences deserve focus, and a champion like Shu."
This marks even more big changes for Sony as the release of the PlayStation 5 draws ever closer. In September, former Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden left Sony for reasons unknown. This followed a year where Sony president and CEO Kaz Hirai slowly stepped down and backed out of the company, completing his transition to senior adviser in June this year.
These executives have defined the past decade of the Playstation brand and will always be part of the company's legacy. But it is clear new adventures are in store for the PS5 and future generations at PlayStation.