The man who’s helmed Sony Computer Entertainment America since 2006 will step down on March 31st in what has officially been called “a mutual agreement between Mr. Tretton and [Sony Computer Entertainment America] not to renew their contractual relationship.”
“Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career,” Tretton says in Sony’s press release. “Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I’m very excited about starting the next chapter of my career. I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation.”
Tretton will be replaced by Shawn Layden, currently executive vice president and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International.
This seems like a massive blow to Sony, who have been ailing in their other ventures. PlayStation 4′s success seems like it might be the product to bring them back from the edge, but this news is unsettling. Tretton led the releases of Sony’s previous consoles such as the PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation Vita; he’s been with Sony since the PlayStation brand was launched, and has been part of the success of the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. He also spearheaded the North American launch of the PlayStation 4, which sold one million units in 24 hours . It’s going to be tough to fill those shoes.