PlayStation has found its replacement for Shawn Layden. Hermen Hulst, the managing director at Guerrilla Games, was announced to be the new head of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios. The news was reported by GamesIndustry.biz on Thursday morning, and they report that Hulst “starts the role immediately and will manage all of Sony’s game development across its 14 internal studios.” The news was also Tweeted by the current president of SIE Worldwide, Shuhei Yoshida.
Guerrilla Games' Hermen Hulst is PlayStation's new head of Worldwide Studios https://t.co/xhxWt1nix4
— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 7, 2019
Hulst started at Guerrilla Games when it was still under the name Lost Boys Games and around the time that their parent company went through a merger, leaving Lost Boys Games as an independent company. They would become the subsidiary of SIE Worldwide Studios in December 2005 in between the studio’s releases of Killzone and Killzone: Liberation, both of which were well-rated by critics. The company would receive universal acclaim for their work on the next couple Killzone games, but Killzone 2 definitely took the cake in the eyes of the industry when it released in 2009. Modern audiences know the studio best for Horizon Zero Dawn, a game that walked away from nearly every critic with a score of 8/10 or better, including our score of 9/10. Most recently, the studio made headlines by posting job openings for a vegetation artist, senior tools programmer, senior game programmer, senior producer, senior art producer, and principle animator, all of which point towards the development of a sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla also had a hand in the development of Death Stranding, another game they’ve touched that has received rousing applause from audiences.
Sony has clearly been impressed with Hulst’s ability to manage these large projects and come out looking good every time. According to GamesIndustry.biz, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan is quoted as saying, “Hermen 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.”
After the departure of Shawn Layden from Sony a little over a month ago, there have been a lot of questions as to who will be taking his spot. After all, Shawn Layden remained the face of SIE Worldwide Studios for most of the PlayStation 4’s lifespan, one of the most successful consoles of all-time. He started his work with Sony in 1987 and worked his way up to a place where he oversaw the releases of The Last of Us, the entire Uncharted series, Until Dawn, Detroit: Become Human, Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War (2018), and Horizon Zero Dawn. His accomplishments cannot be overstated. Now, Hermen Hulst faces a mountain to climb, and the entire industry will pay very close attention to how he tries to get to the summit.
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