PlayStation has revealed plans to open a new development office in Malaysia in 2020.
Announced by YB Tuan Gobind Singh Deo, the Minister of Communications and Multimedia in Malaysia (thanks, GI.biz), the new studio – the first in Southeast Asia – will reportedly provide art and animation for subsidiaries of Sony’s Worldwide Studios such as Guerrilla Games, Insomniac, Media Molecule, and Naughty Dog.
“With this establishment, Malaysia will be working closely with Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios to create more opportunities for the local and regional games industry,” YB Gobind Singh Deo said. “Together, we will work to uplift creative talents in Malaysia and even establish a partnership with our local educational partners. This is to ensure that accelerated growth of the industry in our country will be supported.”
“Impressive talent, a vibrant game ecosystem, and support from the government are key reasons why we have decided to take our partnership with Malaysia to the next level,” added PlayStation CEO and President Jim Ryan.
The news comes on the heels of Sony’s recent announcement that Guerrilla’s Hermen Hulst has been appointed Sony’s new head of worldwide studios (WWS). Sony said Hulst’s promotion is “effective immediately” and sees him “manage and lead all game development across the 14 studios that form Worldwide Studios”.
Consequently, Sony also confirmed the former president of WWS, Shuhei Yoshida, will leave his position to head up a “newly formed initiative that will focus on nurturing external independent creators”. This new initiative will focus on “celebrating external developers that are creating new and unexpected experiences for the gaming community”, and sees Yoshida report directly to CEO Jim Ryan.
These are the latest in a number of changes in Sony’s senior ranks, including the recent departures of Gio Corsi, PlayStation’s head of global second-party games and Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios former chairman, Shawn Layden.
In its latest financials, Sony revealed its current-gen system, PlayStation 4, has now shipped 102.8 million units, eclipsing both the original PlayStation and Nintendo Wii and making it the second-highest selling home console of all time, second only to the PlayStation 2 which boasts 155m lifetime sales. By comparison, it’s estimated that Microsoft’s Xbox One has sold around 41m consoles, although the company has chosen not to formally confirm hardware sales of its current-gen system.
It wasn’t all good news from Sony, however. Its PlayStation business saw “significant decreases” over the period, with sales generated in its Game & Network Services division – which houses PlayStation – falling 17 per cent year-over-year (YoY) to ¥454.4 billion ($4.17 billion), down ¥95.7 billion ($878.5 million) on the same period last year.