Guerrilla Games boss Hermen Hulst is PlayStation’s new head of Worldwide Studios (WWS). He takes over from Shawn Layden, who departed the company last month.
At Guerrilla, Hulst most recently oversaw the successful launch of Horizon: Zero Dawn – seen as a major new franchise for PlayStation – and worked with Kojima Productions to help get the imminent Death Stranding out the door.
As head of WWS, Hulst will oversee the work of all 15 PlayStation-owned studios worldwide, such as Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, Sucker Punch, Bend Studio, Insomniac and Media Molecule.
Former WWS boss Shuhei Yoshida – who more recently had served in a different role as its president – is given a new job looking after third-party indie games – “focused on celebrating external developers that are creating new and unexpected experiences for the gaming community”, Sony said.
Yoshida will report directly into Jim Ryan, the former PlayStation Europe chief who became boss of the entire PlayStation business earlier this year.
“Hermen is one of the most effective and well-respected leaders in the video game industry,” Ryan said today. “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.”
“Everybody knows just how passionate Shu is about independent games,” Ryan continued, on Yoshida’s new posting. “These wildly creative experiences deserve focus and a champion like Shu at PlayStation who will ensure the entire SIE organisation works together to better engage with independent developers through a culture of supporting and celebrating their contributions to PlayStation platforms.”
It’s been a period of some change within PlayStation. Sony veteran Shawn Layden – head of WWS between Yoshida and Hulst – left the company after 32 years. No reason was given for his departure.
Reports of a reshuffle within the company’s UK office surfaced at the same time.