I’ve been doing this job for a while now, following the industry closely, so few of the moment-to-moment happenings tend to catch me off guard. There are always, however, a few notable news stories throughout the year that throw a bit of chaos into the mix, surprising everyone and creating something of a paradigm shift within the games industry. Those surprises often become catalysts for other moments and new directions that the industry takes, so they are well worth paying attention to. Here are the PlayStation LifeStyle nominations for Biggest Surprise in 2019.
- Final Fantasy VIII Remastered/All of Squeenix E3
- Apex Legends
- Shawn Layden Leaves Sony
- How emotionally good Raising Kratos was
- Wired PS5 Info Drop
Biggest Surprise 2019 Winner
Shawn Layden Leaves Sony
Any other year, and I think the surprise reveal of the PS5 via Wired articles this year would have easily taken the top spot, but late in the year we were surprised with Sony’s Shawn Layden leaving the company he’d been a part of for more than 30 years. Layden didn’t even announce the departure himself. It was tweeted out by the PlayStation Twitter account relatively unceremoniously; no blog post or goodbye letter from Layden to accompany it. This raised some questions about power struggles within Sony’s leadership. Layden was a champion for the gamers and an excellent part of PlayStation leadership, helping with much of the PS4 generation’s success, and his lack of presence at the company creates a huge hole just ahead of the PS5 launch next year.
Reader’s Choice Winner
Wired PS5 Info Drop
It came down to just a few votes between this and Shawn Layden leaving Sony, but our readers opted for the more exciting of the two surprises this year. Sony stealth revealed the PS5 through a couple of interviews with Wired, which got people talking about next-gen quite early on. While we won’t get our hands on the PlayStation 5 until late next year, we’ve known official information from Sony since the first half of this year, an unprecedented and casual early reveal that’s led the charge for the conversation. We weren’t expecting to get PS5 info until the inevitable reveal event, so that was quite the surprise this year.
Don’t miss our full lineup of nominees for the PlayStation LifeStyle Game of the Year awards. We’ll be revealing more winners all throughout the week, leading up to the Game of the Year on Friday December 20.