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Sony president Hiroki Totoki officially begins his role as interim CEO of PlayStation

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Sony president Hiroki Totoki officially begins his role as interim CEO of PlayStation

Sony president, COO and CFO Hiroki Totoki officially begins his role as interim CEO of PlayStation today.

It was announced in September 2023 that then-CEO Jim Ryan would be stepping down, with Hiroki Totoki taking over on April 1, 2024.

Ryan has now officially left the company, with Totoki stepping in to oversee the PlayStation division (while keeping his current role at Sony Group) while a more permament successor to Ryan is found.

“Mr Totoki will work closely with Sony Group Corporation Chairman and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and the management team of SIE to help define the next chapter of PlayStation’s future, including the succession of the SIE CEO role,” Sony said in a statement at the time.

Although his interim CEO role officially starts today, Totoki had already started visiting studios in recent months and has already made his views on Sony’s gaming strategy clear.

In February, during a Q&A session following Sony’s latest financial results briefing, Totoki said he wants Sony to be “aggressive” when it comes to improving its gaming division’s profit margins, which he says can partly be achieved with a greater focus on bringing first-party games to PC.

Addressing a question asking why the game division has been seeing an increase in ****** income but not in profits, Totaki made it clear that he feels releasing games “multi-platform” (which he seemingly clarified as meaning PC) continues to be the way forward.

Helldivers 2 has been a huge success for Sony, particularly on PC.

“In the past, we wanted to popularise consoles, and a first-party title’s main purpose was to make the console popular,” he explained.

“This is true, but there’s a synergy to it, so if you have strong first-party content – not only on our console but also other platforms, like computers – a first-party [game] can be grown with multi-platform, and that can help operating profit to improve, so that’s another one we want to proactively work on.

“I personally think there are opportunities out there for improvement of margin, so I would like to go aggressive on improving our margin performance.”

During the same call, Totoki said Bungie could be better at “assuming responsibility for its development timelines”.

In an official translation of the Q&A provided by Sony, Totoki said that while he was impressed by Bungie’s ability as a video game developer, he felt it could make improvements from a business perspective.

“I visited the Bungie studios and had meetings with [the] management,” he said, “and I saw that employees working at the studios were highly motivated, showing great creativity as well as an impressive knowledge of live services.

“However, I also felt that there was room for improvement from a business perspective with regard to areas such as the use of business expenses and assuming accountability for development timelines. I hope to continue the dialogue and come up with some good solutions.”

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