Sony Worldwide Studios is seeing a change in leadership as Shuhei Yoshida leaves his position as the President of Sony Worldwide Studios in order to focus on his new indie project. In his place, the co-founder and managing director of Guerrilla Games, Hermen Hulst will be taking the helm effective immediately. According to IGN, Sony has begun to focus on recruiting new talent while at the same time supporting external indie studios.
This can be supported with the PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan stating in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz that Shuhei Yoshida 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.” The new head of Sony Worldwide Studios will now oversee all 14 studios owned by Sony. Herman Hulst’s own studio, Guerilla Games has also assisted Kojima with the creation of Death Stranding by letting him borrow their Decima Engine. In Hermen’s place three colleagues of his, Angie Smets, Jan-Bart van Beek, and Michiel van der Leuuw will be acting as joint heads at Guerilla Studios.
Sony has been a champion of indie games in the past and will continue to do so now by supporting independent VR games. Jim Ryan stated that Sony has, “been engaged with human resource, we’ve been very financially supportive, we’ve been sharing experiences as people start to learn about what makes a great VR experience.” This implies that Sony has begun to shift largely to VR indie games giving financial support and advice to independent studios focusing on creating an immersive virtual reality experience.
This isn’t the first major shift at Sony this year. At the tail end of September, the Chairmen of Sony Interactive, Shawn Layden announced that he would be leaving the company. More recently, Gio Corsi, the head of global second party games announced that he would be taking a break from the video game industry. It is currently unknown what plans Hermen Hulst has for the 14 studios he will now be overseeing, but more information will likely be revealed at a later date.