This evening, the official PlayStation Twitter account abruptly announced the departure of Sony Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden. His position focused on overseeing the development of all first-party games and ensuring they met the quality standards of Sony. He had assumed this role since March 2018 and worked collaboratively with Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida. Naturally, this announcement came to the surprise of many gamers, analysts, and journalists. Journalist Mike Futter suggested this sudden departure may be the result of corporate conflicts within Sony and implied this struggle has lingered since Jim Ryan and John Kodera quickly changed positions as President of Sony Interactive Entertainment.
To add more fuel to the fire, Daniel Ahmad on the ResetEra forums infers that news coverage concerning Layden’s departure will emerge soon. Only an official Japanese press release from Sony has addressed the executive’s exit, describing it as a “resignation.” However, the absence of an English press release or at least an official blog post from Sony addressing the situation has some people confused. That is not to say Shawn Layden failed in his position, as Sony has launched multiple critical and commercial hits such as God of War and Spider-Man. Layden has also been employed by Sony for the past thirty years, starting at Sony Japan as a Communications Assistant. Layden will undoubtedly leave a commendable legacy despite not being the most popular of gaming executives.
While the corporate struggles at Sony cause some worry from fans, it is important to realize that PlayStation is at its apex, both from a financial and consumer standpoint. The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, and Final Fantasy VII Remake are all months away from releasing only on PS4. In addition, the console has reached 100 million units faster than any other console. Suffice it to say, we should not be freaking out over the future of PlayStation in the slightest.
What do you think about the sudden retirement of Shawn Layden? Are you concerned or do you entrust Sony in choosing the right person for the position before the PlayStation 5 launches? Let us know in the comments below!
News and feature writer for Sick Critic since 2017. Undergraduate studying English. Writes stories on: PlayStation news and analysis, general video game industry affairs, the film industry affairs, and the streaming wars.