Sony is consolidating its PlayStation businesses under one division called Sony Interactive Entertainment, the company announced today.
The new Sony subsidiary will be a combination of the two existing pieces of Sony's video game business, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Sony Network Entertainment International. It will "[join] the forces of all business units belonging to SCE and SNEI, including hardware, software, content and network services operations," according to a press release from Sony. The formation of Sony Interactive Entertainment will go into effect April 1, 2016, the beginning of Sony's 2016 fiscal year. Sony had already been reporting financial results for its two gaming groups together, as "Game & Network Services," since the start of its 2014 fiscal year in April 2014.
Sony Interactive Entertainment's worldwide headquarters will reside in San Mateo, California — currently the location of Sony Computer Entertainment America — meaning that the home of Sony's gaming business is shifting to the U.S. from Sony's corporate headquarters in Tokyo. The division will maintain "key global business operations" in Tokyo (currently Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.) and London (currently Sony Computer Entertainment Europe).
"a clear objective to further accelerate the growth of the PlayStation business"
"By integrating the strengths of PlayStation's hardware, software, content and network operations, SIE will become an even stronger entity, with a clear objective to further accelerate the growth of the PlayStation business," said Andrew House, who currently serves as the president and global CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment and the head of Sony Network Entertainment.
Sony described three "key corporate strategies" for Sony Interactive Entertainment, saying the division will "retain and expand PlayStation user engagement, increase Average Revenue Per Paying Users (ARPPU) and drive ancillary revenue."
House will keep the title of president and global CEO at the helm of SIE, and will also run global partner and development relations, but other executives will change roles under the new gaming division. Jim Ryan, currently the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, will become the head of global sales and marketing for SIE. Shawn Layden, who succeeded Jack Tretton as the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America in April 2014, will be the head of Worldwide Studios for SIE.
Shuhei Yoshida, who has served as president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios since May 2008, said on Twitter that he will report to Layden at SIE. Yoshida added that his current title will not change. You can see a full organizational chart for SIE below.
We've reached out to Sony for more details, and to ask whether the founding of SIE means that Sony will no longer use the Sony Computer Entertainment name in any capacity. If the latter is true, it will mean the end — albeit in name only — of the gaming division that Sony founded in November 1993. Sony announced at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show that it planned to expand the PlayStation Network beyond gaming across the company's consumer electronics, and established Sony Network Entertainment International in April 2010 for that purpose.