Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced the unexpected departure of long-running Worldwide Studios chairman, Shawn Layden, bringing a close to a three-decade tenure at Sony that saw him take on a range of positions from communications assistant, head of SIE Japan to his most recent role as supremo of worldwide content.
Layden’s Reign Comes To An End
Layden presided over what was arguably among the most prosperous periods of PlayStation’s history, first as CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America from 2014 to 2018 and then as Worldwide Studios chairman from Spring last year to now.
During this time, the PlayStation 4 established itself as the dominant console of this generation spawning a veritable treasure trove of exclusives and more than doubling the sales of Microsoft rival Xbox One console in the process. He leaves at a time when the PlayStation brand has never been better off.
Neither SIE nor Layden has offered a reason for the departure, but the wording of the announcement suggests the break is by mutual consent rather than internal strife forcing his departure. There’s no word on whether Layden plans to remain within the industry or not, but he will leave Sony Interactive Entertainment entirely on an as-yet-unspecified date.
Social Media Reacts
Reactions on social media from onlookers have ranged from praise for his part in bringing countless memorable experiences to the PlayStation platform to criticism over his perceived role in censoring M rated Japanese-developed titles.
Looking To PlayStation’s Future
As we look to the future and the arrival of the next-generation of consoles next year, we wait with bated breath to see who Sony appoints as a successor. Whether they can follow in Layden’s footsteps remains to be seen.
Here’s to many more years of similarly acclaimed exclusives that Layden had a part in bringing to PlayStation 4 such as God of War, Bloodborne, and Marvel’s Spider-Man.