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Sony's Yoshida steps down as head of WWS to focus on independent devs

Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that Hermen Hulst, co-founder and managing director of Horizon Zero Dawn developer Guerrilla, would become the new head of SIE's Worldwide Studios, as Shuhei Yoshida switches gears.

Sony Interactive Entertainment on Thursday announced that Hermen Hulst, co-founder and managing director of Horizon Zero Dawn developer Guerrilla, would become the new head of SIE's Worldwide Studios.

At the same time, the company said PlayStation stalwart Shuhei Yoshida would be leaving his position as president of Worldwide Studios to lead a new SIE initiative that is "focused on celebrating external developers that are creating new and unexpected experiences for the gaming community," according to a press release.

Both Hulst and Yoshida will report directly to SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan.

The top-level PlayStation executive shuffle happens as PlayStation 4 rounds out its life, with the new PS5 just around the corner with a slated holiday 2020 launch. The moves also follow the departure of former SIE chairman Shawn Layden and SIE Japan Asia president Atsushi Morita earlier this year.

Over the years, PlayStation veteran Yoshida has become the public face for PlayStation within the game industry as head of WWS since 2008. Ryan said, "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."

For his part, Hulst will be leading the 14 studios that comprise SIE WWS. Under Hulst, Guerrilla also developed the proprietary Decima engine, which is used in games including Horizon Zero Dawn and Kojima Productions' Death Stranding.

"I have no doubt Hermen can lead our teams to deliver compelling and diverse experiences at a steady cadence," Ryan said in a statement.

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