Shawn Layden, the former head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, has joined Tencent Games as a strategic advisor. He will help the Chinese tech giant strengthen its positions in the global games market.
“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 wrote.
He also noted that the games industry is now entering an epoch-defining moment: “There are many possible roads ahead but only a few are profound, broadening, inclusive, edifying, inspiring, and/or sustainable.”
This appointment comes amid Tencent’s ongoing acquisition spree. The Chinese tech giant has invested in several big game companies in recent months, including Elden Ring developer FromSoftware and core Ubisoft stakeholder Guillemot Brothers Ltd.
Tencent has been trying to strengthen its global positions for a while now, as China continues to tighten its pressure on the domestic games industry. The company still struggles to obtain licenses for its new games in the country, not to mention other strict restrictions.
So Layden might help Tencent find more opportunities abroad and make new partnerships, given his decades-long career in the industry.
Who is Shawn Layden?
Layden joined Sony in 1987, serving as producer and vice president at different divisions. He is best known for his role as president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) America, where he helped release several generations of PlayStation consoles.
He also oversaw the launches of notable PlayStation 4 hits like God of War, Detroit: Become Human, and Death Stranding. On top of that, Layden curated some of the company’s M&A deals, including the acquisition of Insomniac Games.
In 2019, Layden stepped down as chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios after working at Sony for over 30 years.
After that, he became an advisor at Streamline Group, saying that the second epoch of the games industry is now ending. These words are in line with what Layden said after joining Tencent.