Guerrilla Games Co-Founder Is The New Head Of PlayStation's Worldwide Studios; Shuhei Yoshida Has New Role
Comings and goings at PlayStation.
Hermen Hulst, managing director and co-founder of Dutch developer Guerrilla Games, is PlayStation's new head of Worldwide Studios. The change comes as part of Sony Interactive Entertainment's restructuring ahead of the launch of the PlayStation 5, slated to release during fall 2020.
Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida is also leaving his current role to lead a new initiative nurturing third-party independent studios. These moves follow the departure of Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden after 32 years at the company.
Hulst will start his new role immediately and manage all of Sony's game development across 14 internal studios, including the likes of Naughty Dog, Insomniac, Sucker Punch, and Santa Monica. In an interview with GamesIndusry.biz, PlayStation CEO and President Jim Ryan--who was previously PlayStation Europe chief--noted that Hulst's appointment shows that Sony is thinking globally as it moves towards the next generation. "I think everybody in Europe should be thrilled and happy and proud that that is happening," he said.
"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."
Hulst most recently oversaw the development of Horizon: Zero Dawn at Guerrilla Games--a successful new franchise for PlayStation--and worked with Kojima Productions on the imminent Death Stranding. The studio is also well known for developing the Killzone series of games, and a sequel to Horizon: Zero Dawn is looking more and more likely. Angie Smets, Jan-Bart van Beek, and Michiel van der Leeuw will take over as joint studio heads at Guerrilla in Hulst's place.
Meanwhile, Yoshida's new role emphasises Sony's commitment to supporting indie developers. "Everybody knows just how passionate Shu is about independent games," Ryan continued. "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.
"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."