Sony is beefing up its PlayStation business, announcing that Sony Online Entertainment, developer and publisher of EverQuest, The Agency, Star Wars Galaxies and much, much more will now report to big boss Kaz Hirai. He's the president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment International, Ken Kutaragi's replacement. You know that.
While SOE has done its share of PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PSP development in the past, we would expect that the alignment with SCEI will mean additional focus on PlayStation output. Potentially good news for the PS3's first-party line up and the PlayStation Network.
The official word is that SOE will continue to develop for the PS3 and PC and that president John Smedley will be one rung under Hirai on the corporate ladder. All that officialness is in the following press release on the matter.
SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT LEVERAGE EXPERTISE IN THE COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
SAN DIEGO, CA & TOKYO, JAPAN (March 13, 2008) — In a strategic move to closely align itself with the strong growth of the worldwide online gaming market, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced today that Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) will report to Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO, SCEI, effective April 1, 2008. The new structure is designed to mutually benefit both companies by further accelerating the PlayStation business through SOE's strong online gaming expertise.
"I am excited to be able to work with SOE even more closely, as online games and services become a more integral part of the PS3 entertainment experience," Hirai said. "This new structure will allow us to take full advantage of the extensive breadth of expertise of the two companies and increase our range of exciting entertainment offerings to our consumers."
San Diego-based SOE is currently part of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Under the new structure, SOE will continue to develop its games for the PC and the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3®) computer entertainment system, and SOE President John Smedley will report to Hirai.
"We are thrilled to become a part of the incredible team that has made PLAYSTATION 3 the premier platform for next generation online gaming," said Smedley. "This move is going to broaden our capabilities and expand the development of our products into new and exciting directions."
About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) is a recognised worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends™, and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development.
About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Recognised as the global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufacturers, distributes and markets the PlayStation® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3®) system. PlayStation has revolutionized home entertainment by introducing advanced 3D graphic processing, and PlayStation 2 further enhances the PlayStation legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP is a new handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3 is an advanced computer system, incorporating the state-of-the-art Cell processor with super computer like power. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea Inc. develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is an independent business unit of the Sony Group.