Sony veteran Shawn Layden leaving PlayStation

After 32 years.

Shawn Layden, boss of PlayStation’s games studios, will leave the company.

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The news was announced just after midnight last night via PlayStation’s official Twitter account. No reason was given for his departure.

Sony’s short statement paid tribute to Layden’s visionary leadership and years of service. Layden has been with PlayStation since 1987 – some 32 years.

To fans, Layden is best known as the face of PlayStation at E3 press conferences while boss of Sony Computer Entertainment America – a post he held until a reshuffle in March 2018 put him in charge of its worldwide game development studios.

In that position, Layden oversaw the launches of PlayStation 4 exclusives such as Detroit: Become Human, God of War and Days Gone, as well as the imminent arrival of Death Stranding, due in a month’s time.

It’s not clear who will replace Layden in that role now.

He was PlayStation’s representative at last year’s Game Awards, when execs from all three major console platforms took to the stage together for the first time. And he was the first Sony exec to offer up some hope on cross-play, when Eurogamer’s Bertie pressed the company last year.

Sony’s full statement lies below:

“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 endeavours and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!”

Today has also seen the departure of PlayStation’s long-standing Japan president and corporate director Atsushi Morita (thanks, Gematsu), who has retired due to age. It appears there’s a bit of a reshuffle going on.

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