Former PlayStation executive Shawn Layden has joined giant Chinese video game publisher Tencent Games as a strategic advisor

Former PlayStation Exec Shawn Layden Joins Tencent


Former PlayStation executive Shawn Layden has joined giant Chinese video game publisher Tencent Games as a strategic advisor.
As reported by GI.biz, the former Chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios (now PlayStation Studios) announced on LinkedIn that he joined Tencent last month to help the company navigate the gaming space.
The State of PlayStation Studios<h2>Bend Studio</h2>
Last game published: Bend’s last published game was 2019’s Days Gone, an open world, motorcycle-riding adventure through the Pacific Northwest in which players starred as Deacon St. John fighting against hordes of Freakers. Bend continued to support Days Gone after launch with technical patches and some content updates, including a series of challenges for players to test their Freaker-fighting mettle against.<br><br>
Current game in development: Though reports and tweets from past employees suggest a Days Gone 2 was pitched, that particular world is currently not what the team has in the works. Instead, Bend announced earlier this year that it is developing a brand new IP, also shooting down rumors that we might be seeing a return to the world of its acclaimed Syphon Filter series. No exact details are known on said new IP just yet, though PlayStation Studios Head Hermen Hulst did previously say Bend would be “building on the deep open-world systems that they developed with Days Gone.”<h2>Bluepoint Games</h2>
Last game published: As of press time, Bluepoint is PlayStation Studios’ newest acquisition,  with no games published post acquisition, but Bluepoint and PlayStation’s history goes back years. The studio made a name for itself with PlayStation remasters for Uncharted and more. It then transitioned into remakes, tackling beloved PlayStation hits like Shadow of the Colossus on PS4 and, most recently, Demon’s Souls on PS5.<br><br>
Post-acquisition Bluepoint hasn’t announced official details of its next game. But speaking to IGN at the time of the acquisition announcement, Bluepoint president Marco Thrush indicated the team wants to work on original content moving forward, meaning we shouldn’t expect a remake next from the studio, as much as it’s proven itself in that space.<h2>Bungie</h2>
Arguably Sony's biggest acquisition since Insomniac (from a recognition level, at least), the announcement that Sony Interactive Entertainment will acquire Bungie for $3.6 billion was a shock. The once Microsoft-aligned studio (the original home of Halo!) has since made Destiny its core focus through years of both independence and previous ownership by Activision. Bungie comes with a bit of a caveat - it will operate as
Post-acquisition Bungie hasn't formally announced any new games, though it did release The Witch Queen expansion for Destiny 2. Bungie is also working on a new IP, and, as evidenced by the acquisition news, has interest in expanding Destiny beyond games into other media. And we also know thanks to job listings that a new project for Bungie could be a multiplayer action game with a character focus." src="/uploads/2022/09/20/former-playstation-executive-shawn-layden-has-joined-giant-chinese-video-game-publisher-tencent-games-as-a-strategic-advisor-2.jpg" class="jsx-2920405963 progressive-image image jsx-294430442 rounded expand loading"/><h2>Firesprite</h2>
Last game published: Firesprite Games is another very recent acquisition of PlayStation’s, and the studio hasn’t technically published a game as just yet. Firesprite also has a lengthy history with PlayStation, most recently developing the PSVR title The Persistence VR, as well as previously having collaborated with PlayStation on The Playroom and The Playroom VR on the PS4, and Run Sackboy! Run! The studio’s lineage with PlayStation goes back even further though. It was originally formed in 2012 by former employees of Sony’s now-shuttered Liverpool Studio, the home of the Wipeout racing franchise. 
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Current game in development: Though Firesprite is quite the large studio and may have more projects underway, we do know that its first announced game as part of PlayStation Studios is a PSVR 2 exclusive, Horizon Call of the Mountain. Co-developed with Guerrilla, it is the first first-party game announced for the next-gen headset. Otherwise, it’s a huge studio of more than 250 employees who, according to Hermen Hulst in an interview with gamesindustry.biz, will be working on their own projects as a first-party studio, rather than supporting the games of others like they have in the past. Prior to joining the first party stable, Firesprite was hiring for two games, including a “game-changing huge multiplayer shooter and an ambitious dark narrative blockbuster,” as well as Star Citizen: Theaters of War, but Sony has not commented on what, if any, of those projects will remain in development.<h2>Guerrilla</h2>
Last game published: Guerrilla Games last published the highly anticipated sequel to its latest franchise, Horizon, with Horizon Forbidden West earlier this year. Horizon has been the company's focus for years now, and as IGN's Horizon Forbidden West review noted, the sequel is
Current game in development: Guerrilla just launched Horizon Forbidden West, give them a minute to breathe! But, really, the studio hasn't announced any exact follow-ups just yet, other than the partnership with Firesprite on Call of the Mountain. The studio has continued to support Forbidden West with post-launch patches, but no DLC has been announced. And though not officially announced, Guerrilla in recent years has been hiring for roles with multiplayer experience. Game director Simon Larouche, who previously left Guerrilla to work on Rainbow Six at Ubisoft and has since rejoined, also listed an unannounced title as their current project on their Linkedin Profile. Guerrilla’s continued success with Horizon has cemented it as one of PlayStation’s most exciting studios. " src="/uploads/2022/09/20/former-playstation-executive-shawn-layden-has-joined-giant-chinese-video-game-publisher-tencent-games-as-a-strategic-advisor-4.jpg" class="jsx-2920405963 progressive-image image jsx-294430442 rounded expand loading"/><h2>Haven Studios</h2>
PlayStation decided to acquire its latest studio before the team's first game was released - the Jade Raymond-led Haven Studios is now officially a PlayStation Studio. Sony previously announced a partnership to exclusively publish Haven's first game last year, but rather than wait to see how that game performs, it seems PlayStation has decided to just formally bring Haven into the PlayStation fold. The team is working on a new IP exclusive to PlayStation, but other than that and the expectation for it to be
"In this new role, I hope to advise, assist, and support the team at Tencent as they deepen their activities and commitments within the industry to which I've devoted the majority of my career," Layden said in the post.
"We are at an epoch defining moment in gaming and interactive entertainment. There are many possible roads ahead but only a few are profound, broadening, inclusive, edifying, inspiring, and/or sustainable. I am thrilled to continue this journey of discovery and thank Tencent for the opportunity."
Tencent has become one of the biggest publishers in gaming in recent years, having acquired several studios including Back 4 Blood developer Turtle Rock Studios and Sackboy: A Big Adventure's Sumo Group. It also owns League of Legends' Riot Games, 40% of Fortnite's Epic Games, and 16.25% of Elden Ring studio FromSoftware.
The company is also transitioning into hardware development, announcing last month that it is working with gaming tech company Logitech to create a handheld, cloud-based console.

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.
This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Ryan Dinsdale

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