Guerrilla Games’ Co-founder and Managing Director, Hermen Hulst, will take on a new role within Sony, effective immediately. From here on, Hulst will serve as the Head of Worldwide Studios, the division responsible for managing development across all 14 of Sony’s first party studios. President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, is leaving his post to adopt a new position, too. He’ll work to develop relationships with external independent studios in a brand-new initiative designed for indies.
In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, SIE President and CEO Jim Ryan noted that Hulst’s new position will especially be a boon for Sony’s division in Europe, given Hulst’s being European himself. This also seems to serve as another phase of Sony’s restructuring ahead of PlayStation 5’s late 2020 launch. After all, such a shift in management comes just weeks after Shawn Layden, Chairman of Worldwide Studios, unexpectedly departed the company.
Indeed, this represents a fascinating career pivot for Hermen Hulst, who’s been instrumental in the Killzone and Horizon Zero Dawn studio’s growth. Jan Barter Bridges, Angie Smets, and Michiel van der Leeuw will take over his role, all three now serving as Co-Studio Directors of the Amsterdam-based developer.
As previously noted, Yoshida’s new role will be to lead the charge in incubating relationships with indie teams. Over the last year or so, it’s appeared as though Sony’s dedication to indies has waned, particularly when compared to the early days of PS4’s life cycle. According to Ryan, who Yoshida will report to, one focus of the initiative involves “celebrating external developers that are creating new and unexpected experiences.” Ryan also insisted Sony’s engagement with indies never wavered. Apparently, all anyone needs to do is look at how well indies are supported with PlayStation VR.