Sony has reshuffled two of its major corporate divisions with the goal of improving service to consumers.
Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment International are being combined into Sony Interactive Entertainment, a new business dedicated to PlayStation users. Effective April 1, the changes mean that all of the business units belonging to SCE (the PlayStation business) and SNEI (the networking business) will be combined into Sony Interactive Entertainment, with headquarters in San Mateo, Calif.
The division includes hardware, software, content, and network services operations. There seems to be one important change in the leadership. Under the new regime, Shawn Layden, formerly the head of Sony Computer Entertainment America, becomes head of worldwide studios at Sony Interactive Entertainment. Shuhei Yoshida, the former head of the Worldwide Studios, now reports to Layden, who reports directly to the head of the combined unit, Andrew House. Layden is chairman of the studios, and Yoshida is president.
“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, the president and global CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment and the group executive in charge of Network Entertainment at Sony, in a statement. “Along with our business partners, SIE will develop pioneering services and products that will continue to inspire consumers’ imaginations and lead the market. We will work hard to maximize corporate value by coordinating global business operations across San Mateo, Tokyo, and London by leveraging local expertise.”
SCE was set up in 1993 with the launch of the original PlayStation video game console. SNEI was set up in 2010, with a focus on network services such as the PlayStation Network, which provides online games and other entertainment through the PlayStation Store. Until now, these were separate divisions. Now those two entities will function as one. Sony didn’t say if the changes would affect any jobs.
The new division’s charter includes retaining and expanding PlayStation user engagement, increasing average revenue per paying users (ARPPU, a term more commonly used in mobile games), and driving ancillary revenue. SIE will target 1,400 to 1,600 billion yen for sales and 5 to 6 percent operating income margin for the fiscal year ending March 2018.