Shuhei Yoshida Isn't Sony's Head Of Worldwide Studios Anymore

Illustration for article titled Shuhei Yoshida Isnt Sonys Head Of Worldwide Studios Anymore
Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP (Getty)

Since 2008, Shuhei Yoshida has been the president of SCE Worldwide Studios. Today, Sony announced that Yoshida will be stepping down to focus on a new initiative to nurture independent developers. In his place, Guerrilla Games co-founder Hermen Hulst will take over as SCE Worldwide Studios head.

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In an official release, Sony announced that this is effective immediately.

“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,” Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in a statement. “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.”

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Guerrilla Games released Horizon Zero Dawn on PS4 in 2017. Hulst has been serving as the studio’s managing director.

“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,” said Hulst. “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.”

Sony described the new initiative that Yoshida is heading up as ensuring that PlayStation better supports independent developers.

“I am thrilled to announce Shu Yoshida as head of this new initiative,” Ryan added. “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.”

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[Correction: 11/7/2019, 6:30 a.m. EST: The release date for Horizon Zero Dawn has been updated.] 

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

Horizon was 2017, not last year.

This is an interesting turn. From what I can tell he’s been doing a great job and Sony first party has been killing it since 2008. But maybe he just wanted to do something new and work with new talent.

More and more non-Japanese folks in powerful positions at PlayStation.