Today Sony has announced that Atsushi Morita, president and corporate director of Sony Interactive Entertainment Asia, will be retiring due to age.
Atsushi has been in the industry for quite some time. In 2001 he worked as a design manager on cult classic JRPG Shadow Hearts. He also assisted with marketing for both Odin Sphere and Catherine, was part of the motion capture team for Tenchu: Return from Darkness, worked on the customer support team for both Trauma Center: New Blood and Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2, and was part of the supervision team for both The Tomorrow Children and Gravity Rush 2. The first time he’s specifically mentioned as president of SIEA is in the credits of 2017’s Gran Turismo: Sport, and the last Sony game he worked on was on VR adventure game Déraciné.
In addition to this, Atsushi is remembered for setting up a rather hilarious “Sony vs. Square Enix” match of Call of Duty: Black Ops III in 2016. He played against—and lost to—Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda.
While no replacement for president has been named yet, Kazuhiko Takeda will be taking on the role of corporate director. Kazuhiko has worked for Sony since 1983, and last year took on the role of both deputy president and chief financial officer. If anyone is likely to replace Atsushi as president, Kazuhiko seems like the most likely candidate.
This marks the second higher up that has left Sony Interactive Entertainment in recent days. Shawn Layden, chairman of Sony Worldwide Studio, stepped down after working with the company for more than 30 years. He also does not currently have a replacement announced. Since October 1st is the start of a new financial year in Japan, it’s usual that any massive changes in company employment, such as a president stepping down, are announced around this time.