You might not be familiar with the name Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI), a division of Sony, but you are most likely familiar with its products: the PlayStation, launched one year after the division’s founding in 1993, and every one of its successors. Sony Computer Entertainment has also developed the PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation Vita in the handheld market. Less visible is Sony Network Entertainment International LLC (SNEI), founded in 2010, which manages the PlayStation Network, the Sony Entertainment Network, and all the related services that allow the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 to be multimedia entertainment centers.
In a press release published Tuesday, Sony Corporation has announced that SCEI and SNEI are merging into a single division, Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC (SIE), effective April 1st, 2016. Significantly, although some business operations will still be conducted in Tokyo and London, the division is headquartered in the United States – San Mateo, California. According to a statement by Andrew House, President and Global CEO of SCEI and Group Executive in charge of Network Entertainment of Sony, “leveraging local expertise” will be a key part of ongoing business in all three cities. Still, it seems that Sony is signaling a new focus on the American market with this restructure.
“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. 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.” - Andrew House, Global CEO of SCEI
Executives from SCEI will take top positions in SIE. House will once again assume the mantle of president and global CEO, while the president and CEO of SCEI Europe, Jim Ryan, will lead SIE’s global sales and marketing. The president and CEO of SCEI America, Shawn Layden, will also take a position, leading SIE’s Worldwide Studios.
Since this was announced on January 26th, it’s probably not an April Fool’s. Could this make a real difference for PlayStation owners in 2016? Share your thoughts in the comments below!