Former Sony MD joins UK VR company Immotion Studios

UK VR company Immotion Studios has appointed former sony managing director, Ian Hetherington, as its new chairperson.

Hetherington is a former managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, where he was “fundamental to the design and implementation of the Sony PlayStation, overseeing the launch of the product in Europe, which made up over 80% of the market share at launch”. 

Hetherington also published a number of PlayStation titles as co-founder of Psygnosis – which went on to become Sony Studio Liverpool – including Wipeout and Lemmings. He was reportedly also a mentor and backer of Rockstar’s David Jones, the creator of Lemmings, Crackdown, and Grand Theft Auto. 

“We would like to welcome Ian Hetherington to the team. Ian will, I am sure, add his own dynamism and commercial expertise to the creation of experiences,” said Martin Higginson, Immotion Group CEO. “He is currently working on a number of highly engaging experiences, giving our partner sales team the perfect product for a number of our existing partners, as well giving us the perfect range of experiences for zoos, science centres and museums.”

Hetherington will reportedly oversee the ongoing commercial work with the company, which includes creating “a number of immersive experiences” for National Geographic.  

Sony Liverpool was shuttered in August 2012. It was the driving force of the Wipeout IP, which was one of the original PlayStation’s most iconic titles. At the time, Sony said: “It has been decided that Liverpool Studio should be closed. Liverpool Studio has been an important part of SCE Worldwide Studios since the outset of PlayStation, and have contributed greatly to PlayStation over the years. Everyone connected with Liverpool Studio, past and present, can be very proud of their achievements.

“However, it was felt that by focusing our investment plans on other Studios that are currently working on exciting new projects, we would be in a stronger position to offer the best possible content for our consumers.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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