Sony and PlayStation have been going through some changes in recent years, and now Hermen Hulst, managing director and co-founder of Guerrila Games has been appointed the new head of PlayStation Worldwide Studios. He will replace Shuhei Yoshida, who will oversee a newly formed division that will focus on “nurturing external independent creators.”
Hulst is best known for his work at Guerrilla Games, the studio behind the Killzone series, and most recently, Horizon Zero Dawn. Recently he had a hand in helping Kojima Productions’ with Death Stranding, including providing the engine the game was built on. After two decades at Guerrilla, this is a major move for Hulst, where he will now manage development across 14 different Sony game studios. This is a major move that coincides with Sony prepping for the PlayStation 5 launch sometime in 2020.
“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,” said Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “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.”
With the PlayStation 5 poised to go against the next Xbox console, Sony is laying the groundwork to ensure they have the software and studios in line to compete. With Shu Yoshida moving to help independent development, it will further cement the hold Sony has on indie games and can ensure they have a solid AAA and indie lineup in the runup to the new consoles launch. Adding exclusives will only help the Sony brand, and ensure PlayStation can compete with Google, and Microsoft in the space.
“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 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,” added Ryan.
It will be interesting to see how this change in leadership alters the course of Sony and PlayStation. Currently, Sony is sitting in a strong position in the market, but with each new console launch that can change. As we head into 2020, more details about the Sony PS4 launch plans, along with what games Sony hopes to bring to the new console will be more clear. We will keep you updated on all changes as they develop.