Following months of news relating to censorship taking place within the hardcore sectors of the PlayStation 4 software circles, which was a policy handed down during the John Kodera era when he was president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, it appears as if Sony is making a drastic change in leadership as Kodera has been demoted and deputy acting president Jim Ryan has been promoted.
The news comes courtesy of a post over on the SIE corporate website, where it was announced that the change-up was being implemented effectively immediately, as of February 11th, 2019.
Kodera will now be relegated to the deputy president of Sony Interactive Entertainment working on user experiences and “enhancing the network area”, while Jim Ryan will be taking over Kodera’s position as the president and CEO starting April 1st, 2019.
This comes just shortly after Kodera was appointed to the position of SIE president back in October of 2017, as noted by Bloomberg.
That following year, effective April of 2018, Kodera restructured SIE with a mandate so that Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan would answer directly to Kodera and the California offices, instead of operating with domestic autonomy. In the press release it stated….
“In order to ensure coordination between organizations and support functions that are overseen locally, John Kodera, President and CEO, SIE, and Jim Ryan will assume the role of executive in charge of regions, Kodera with responsibility for Americas and Japan Asia and Ryan for Europe. Current SIEJA President Atsushi Morita will report directly to Kodera to support management of cross-functional activities for the Japan Asia markets.”
This decision had wide-sweeping effects on the PlayStation brand later into 2018, which eventually underwent drastic content policy changes that saw Sony’s California offices enforcing a PS4 censorship policy.
Sony never came out and made any public statements about it, other than when the SIE Japan president, Atsushi Morita, stated that the change had been implemented to align with “global standards”.
Lots of games were impacted by this decision, but Sony held steadfast in forcing developers, mostly those from Japan, to censor their games even when only releasing the titles in Japan and even when they were rated CERO D for those 17 years of age or older.
With the recent regime change there’s really no telling how this will impact the current PS4 censorship policies. One thing that was made clear in the press release is that Kodera is downplaying the demotion, stating…
“I have been discussing with Yoshida-san the need to drive SIE to the next phase in our rapidly changing business environment, and realize the evolution of the PlayStation® platform and further enriching the user experiences made possible through the network, which is an essential value that people expect in the entertainment PlayStation provides. As a result, we have concluded that the best direction is for Jim to take the helm of the overall management of SIE, and for me to spearhead the network area to continue creating innovative services and experiences, where competition continues to intensify with many new players joining the business. Jim has extensive knowledge around the game business and industry, as well as deep understanding of the PlayStation culture and strengths. I am confident that he will lead us to greater success as CEO of SIE”
Hopefully Jim Ryan can right the boat and set Sony back on course. Of course, Jim Ryan was also the same executive who infamously stated that Sony’s focus was on new games, which is why they didn’t focus on backwards compatibility on the PS4, telling Eurogamer back in 2015…
“I know a big thing was made about this at E3. It’s a feature – we go through this when we launch a new console – it’s a feature that gets much talked about. But it’s a feature that’s not used that much. People move on very quickly. It was very interesting to look at that montage of the various Tekkens, and seeing how those things have evolved over the years. The first one, which I loved, looks prehistoric. The next generation comes along, and people just jump at it. It gets talked about, and it’s always high on the list of what people want, but it’s not a feature that gets used that much. Our focus is on the new games.”
Hopefully Ryan has evolved over the last four years and maybe he’ll learn from Kodera’s mistakes as president of Sony Interactive Entertainment. We’ll find out if the PS4 censorship policies will stay in place when Ryan takes the reins of the Sony division and begins his leadership tenure in April.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)
(Main image courtesy of Giuseppe’s Gaming)