Shake-ups in the world of video game business hierarchy continue today as Guerrilla Games' co-founder, Herman Hulst, has been promoted to Head of Worldwide Studios at Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). His new role means Shuhei Yoshida is on the move too, though he's staying within the company. Yoshida is now leading a new initiative that will "focus on nurturing external independent creators," said Sony in a press release.
President and CEO of SIE, Jim Ryan, said Hulst "is one of the most effective and well-respected leaders in the video game industry. He is a passionate advocate for the teams he leads and understands how to empower creative talent to build great experiences."
Hulst had served mostly as the Managing Director through Guerrila's history, where he oversaw the Killzone franchise since 2004 and helped usher in one of this generation's most successful new IPs, Horizon: Zero Dawn. That game's Decima engine is so highly regarded that Kojima Productions chose to build their upcoming game Death Stranding using it too. Hulst said he is "beyond excited" to lead the team and "build amazing games for PlayStation fans."
In Hulst's place, three new co-directors have been named at Guerrilla, including Executive Producer Angie Smets, Technical Director Michiel van der Leeuw, and Studio Art Director Jan Bart van Beek.
Yoshida, meanwhile, will head up a new company initiative to nurture relationships with third-party indie studios. His new role will see him report directly to CEO Jim Ryan in what sounds a bit like an analog to Microsoft's [email protected] program.
Of the move to indie ambassador, Ryan said this of Yoshida:
"Everybody knows just how passionate Shu is about independent games – they are lifeblood of the industry, making our content portfolio so special for our gamers. These wildly creative experiences deserve focus and a champion like Shu at PlayStation who will ensure the entire SIE organization works together to better engage with independent developers through a culture of supporting and celebrating their contributions to PlayStation platforms."
These changes come following several others at the major gaming brands, including Shawn Layden's abrupt departure at PlayStation, Mike Ybarra's switch from Xbox to Blizzard, as well as Matt Booty's promotion to a similar role to Hurst's at Xbox Game Studios.