It would appear that former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden has officially joined Tencent, the giant Chinese-owned media conglomerate that owns video game companies like Riot Games and Funcom as well as significant stakes in the likes of Epic Games among others. Layden appears to have joined up as a strategic advisor back in August, but only recently announced the move.
"I am delighted to share that I have recently joined [Tencent] Games as a strategic advisor," shared Layden as part of announcing his new position. "In this new role, 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. We are at an epoch defining moment in gaming and interactive entertainment. There are many possible roads ahead but only a few are profound, broadening, inclusive, edifying, inspiring, and/or sustainable. I am thrilled to continue this journey of discovery and thank Tencent for the opportunity."
Layden should be familiar to PlayStation fans in the same way that, say, Phil Spencer is familiar to Xbox fans. He previously served as president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, and when he left the company in October 2019, he was chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios, which then rebranded as PlayStation Studios in 2020. PlayStation Studios is, if you are somehow not familiar, the division of SIE that oversees all of the first-party PlayStation video game developers.
What it is exactly that Layden will be doing at Tencent seems extremely broad in his description of the role. Beyond the fact that he will be advising the company, strategically, it does appear that it will be largely using Layden's strengths and connections to shepherd the company through the tumultuous gaming and entertainment industry.
"It's a young person's activity. I felt: This is a good time to put the pin in my legacy," said Layden previously as explanation for his departure from PlayStation. "That seemed like a good time to step off on top and allow another generation to take the PlayStation 5 to market."
What do you think about Layden joining Tencent as a strategic advisor? What do you think about Tencent's continued rise in prominence in gaming? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop in order to talk about all things gaming!