Sony announced today that Hermen Hulst, recently known for his work on Horizon Zero Dawn, will replace Shuhei Yoshida as PlayStation’s Head of Worldwide Studios, which involves leading game development across 14 studios. Yoshida, though leaving his old position, will start a new PlayStation initiative focused on nurturing independent game creators.
This is part of Sony’s restructuring efforts in anticipation for the PlayStation 5, expected this Christmas. Shawn Layden left his position as chairman of Worldwide studios about a month ago, seemingly as part of the same efforts, but Sony did not provide details about his departure. In fact, it was initially announced via a Tweet instead of a more official method of press release.
Hulst, who is European, plans on having a more global perspective and suspects the folks in Europe will be pleased with this news, according to gamesindustry.
“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.”
Yoshida, on the other hand, will report directly to Jim Ryan, the PlayStation CEO and president, as he helps out developers with smaller studios. Ryan commented on this new position in light of reports that Sony has scaled back their support of indie games in the past.
“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 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.”
Ryan also spoke about Hurst, who was the co-founder of Guerilla Games, which developed PlayStation exclusives such as Killzone and Horizon Zero Dawn.
“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.”