While the forthcoming successor to the PlayStation 4 is still under R&D, it looks like the Worldwide Studios Chairman, Shawn Layden, will be departing Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) according to a new tweet.
In case you don’t know what Layden has been up to, he’s the guy that is pushing Sony’s PS4 policies to slip into film and TV. Yes, PlayStation Productions is established and will bring fans and folks a slew of Sony games to the idiot box or even the silver screen according to the hollywoodreporter.com:
“Sony Interactive Entertainment has launched PlayStation Productions, a production studio that will mine the company’s extensive catalog of video game titles for film and television. The new enterprise, headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by chairman of Worldwide Studios at SIE, Shawn Layden, is already in production on its first slate of projects and has set up shop on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City.”
Back in May of this year, Layden answers the “why” to the questions looming around this jump on the TV and film wagon with their new production studio based in Culver City, California, by stating:
“We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises and stories. We feel that now is a good time to look at other media opportunities across streaming or film or television to give our worlds life in another spectrum.”
Layden is also the guy that explained to cnet.com why Sony skipped out on E3 2019:
“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community. PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to innovate, think differently and experiment with new ways to delight gamers. As a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.”
One of the many ways to “engage” with fans is the most recent State of Play event, which revealed new games and release dates and so on.
In addition to skipping E3 2019 and focusing on smaller events like State of Play, Layden thinks E3 isn’t growing with the times.
Layden believes what Sony wanted to utilize it for has lost its impact since dropping the “big bomb” is nulled out by the Internet and online “journalism” and since Sony has changed its method of making games, the best new thing is to find ways to “progress the conversation about” how they should transform E3 to be more “relevant,” if they can turn the expo into a fan festival of gaming, or if it can be a place to celebrate games and have panels where they bring game developers closer to fans.
Fast forward to today, and we now see the aforesaid unfolding without SIE Worldwide Studios Chairman. Yes, according to a new tweet from PlayStation’s official Twitter account, we learn the following:
It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE. His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavors and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 30, 2019
As of this writing, no word on Layden’s replacement has surfaced. However, I’m sure SIE’s operations will go through without any problems given that most of these top executive moves are pre-planned like Patrick Söderlund leaving Electronic Arts to join up with a company (Embark Studios) that he had been creating while occupied as the Chief Design Officer at EA.