At the end of September 2019, the CEO of SIE Worldwide Studios, Shawn Layden, left his post after 32 years with the company. Since then, Sony has not revealed the reasons for his departure, and then, after almost a year, Layden himself decided to disclose why he did it.
In the last interview with a well-known publisher Bloomberg and directly with journalist Jason Schreier, the former head of PlayStation said it was time for the younger generation, and he felt it was time for him to step down.
This activity is for young people, and I felt that now is the right time to put an end to my “legacy”.
By the “right time”, Layden most likely meant the popularity and success of Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War, both released under his leadership and becoming some of the highest rated games of the decade.
It was the most opportune time, after reaching such a pinnacle, to leave and let another generation bring the PlayStation 5 to the market.
Schreier also mentioned several rumors that claimed Layden had stepped down due to a power struggle with the current head of PlayStation, Jim Ryan. In response, the journalist did not receive any details: the former director did not refute or confirm anything. Instead, he reiterated that it was time for him to retire.
Sean Layden is currently a consultant at Streamline Media Groupa gaming services company and helps the company with a global strategy for gaming and entrepreneurship.