By: Dylan Lepore | @dylanslegos
Hermen Hulst, managing director and co-founder of Guerrilla Games, is the new head of PlayStation Worldwide Studios for Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE).
Hulst is starting his role immediately as Shuhei Yoshida steps down after holding the position for more than 11 years.
Due to Hulst's new position Angie Smets, Jan-Bart van Beek, and Michiel van der Leeuw will take over as joint studio heads at Guerrilla Games who are known for publishing games such as Killzone and Horizon Zero Dawn.
"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," Hulst said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz.
Jim Ryan, CEO and president of PlayStation, spoke with GamesIndustry.biz on hiring Hulst for the position and is very thrilled on what's to come globally for the next generation of PlayStation.
"Hermen is a European who will be taking one of the major offices at PlayStation," he said. "I think everybody in Europe should be thrilled and happy and proud that that is happening."
Ryan continued: "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. I have no doubt Hermen can lead our teams to deliver compelling and diverse experiences at a steady cadence."
This all comes after the departure of Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden as SIE is working on restructuring the company ahead of the anticipated launch of the PlayStation 5 in December 2020.
However, for Yoshida, he is working on a different project and in a newly formed position, where he will be "celebrating external developers that are creating new and unexpected experiences," and will report directly to Ryan.
"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," Ryan said. "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."
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, they have stated that they have received concerns that PlayStation seems to be lacking in support for smaller developers such as indies; however, Ryan ensures that they remain import to PlayStation.
"I get this a lot," he said. "We feel that it's not a question of us coming back to the indies, because we feel like we've never left. I would just point to the amount of engagement that PlayStation has made with that community over the course of the last three to five years in the VR space. People tend to forget about this, but the amount of indie engagement with VR is actually really very significant. We are very active with them, we've 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."
Ryan continued: "I think we've always been there with indies, and when they were fascinated and engaged with virtual reality, that's when we pivoted our engagement with them. So our work with the indie community has remained at the levels that it was during the early days of PS4."
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