Former PlayStation Boss Shawn Layden Explains Why He Left the Company

by
William D’Angelo
, posted 4 hours ago / 495 Views

Sony on September 30, 2019 announced PlayStation boss Shawn Layden would be stepping down after 32 years at the company. At the time Sony didn’t explain why Layden was leaving, however, in a new interview with Bloomberg Layden explained why he left PlayStation.

Layden had launched six video game consoles and after so many years he was getting burned out.

“It’s a young person’s activity,” said Layden. “I felt: This is a good time to put the pin in my legacy.” 

He added that he helped shepherd some of the highest rated PlayStation games with Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War and it “seemed like a good time to step off on top and allow another generation to take the PlayStation 5 to market.”

Layden wouldn’t go into specifics when asked if the rumors of a power struggle between him and current PlayStation boss Jim Ryan were true.

“I think I took my time at the moment I saw best to take it,” he said. “And I couldn’t be happier.”

Former PlayStation Boss Shawn Layden Explains Why He Left the Company

Layden in the interview also discussed the increasing cost of AAA games and revealed some of the recent big PlayStation 4 games each cost $100 million and predicted PS5 games could cost as much as $200 million.

“[Game development] seems to double in cost every platform,” he said. “If we can’t stop the cost curve from going up, all we can do is try to de-risk it. That puts you in a place where you’re incentivized toward sequels.”

He added, “What happens there is you end up with 3-4 silos of games or game types that continue to exist, and variety is squeezed out.”

Layden at PlayStation was able to bring larger open worlds and improved graphics. “I think I contributed a part into showing the world what amazing gameplay can look like,” he said.

“We are now the largest entertainment medium in the world, except on a social impact level we punch below our weight,” Layden said. “My goal in the last act of my career is really to bring more people into gaming creation, more people from all over the world, [and] bring more people into the enjoyment of gaming.”


A life-long and avid gamer, William D’Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let’s Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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