News Article

SCEA President Jack Tretton Won't Be Dropping the Mic At Any More Sony Pressers

Posted by Sammy Barker

Goodbye old friend

Sony may have hit a homerun with the PlayStation 4 over the past few months, but it's undergoing a bit of an employment overhaul at the minute. Hot on the heels of layoffs at Sony Santa Monica and the departure of Uncharted creator Amy Hennig earlier in the week, SCEA president Jack Tretton has now announced that he’s leaving the company after a whopping 19 years at the firm.

Having worked at the business since its inception, the former Activision employee played a major role in the launch of the – wait for it – PSone, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and, of course, PlayStation 4. Those of you new to the brand will probably best know the industry stalwart for announcing that the Japanese giant’s next-gen machine will play used games during the platform holder’s E3 press conference last year.

"Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career," he said in a statement. "Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I'm very excited about starting the next chapter of my career. I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand, and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation.”

Tretton will be replaced by Shawn Layden, a fellow veteran who currently works as executive vice president for Sony Network Entertainment. Having already spent 15 years under the organisation’s umbrella, the new SCEA gaffer previously held pivotal roles at London Studio and SCEJ, where he was president prior to current incumbent Hiroshi Kawano.

“It's an honour and privilege to join SCEA and be a part of the team that is leading the next generation of gaming and entertainment," he explained. “SCEA is committed to delivering breakthrough gaming experiences that inspire fans and exceed their wildest expectations. As PS4 shows us every day, there has never been a better time to be part of the PlayStation community and I look forward to working with our retail, development, publishing, and network partners to further demonstrate why PlayStation is the best place to play."

Andrew House, who’s in charge of the entire division, went on to personally thank Tretton for his work, and also welcome Layden to the fold. “I have the utmost confidence in Shawn's leadership capabilities, and his deep knowledge of the gaming industry and commitment to gamers will help keep PlayStation at the forefront of entertainment and innovative gameplay,” he said.

While the timing is probably not the best, there’s unlikely to be a bigger narrative at play here. With the end of the fiscal year rapidly approaching, it’s common for some employment turbulence to occur. Nevertheless, over the past few years, there’s no doubt that Tretton has become one of the best public speakers in the industry, and it’s not going to be the same without him at the helm of this year’s E3. Still, at least he’s leaving on a high, with his verbal assault on Microsoft’s draconian digital rights management policies going down as one of the greatest ever moments in gaming press conference history.

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User Comments (55)

Bad-MuthaAdebis

#7

Bad-MuthaAdebis said:

Maybe they all heard mike pachter is being promoted and decided to walk... the actual guy taking over has the most hilarious forced smile.

shingi_70

#8

shingi_70 said:

Best of luck to Mr.Tretton, I'll remember him for saying no DRM with the most satisfied **** eating grin of all time.

Carl-G

#10

Carl-G said:

GOOD(i like him tho, & good luck to him in the future) now SONY can get someone with BALLS in the USA to take on Microsoft now. New blood is needed in the USA for SONY's PlayStation brand i think & hopefully then the new team will hopefully not mess-up the PS4's chances in the USA(YEP, i have no faith in the USA PS Team at all after the PS3 sales in the USA) :-/

rjejr

#12

rjejr said:

Seems like he's leaving under his own terms, or am I reading this wrong? I know Sony is a mess, and Vita cold be doing better, but I don't recall thinking his job was at stake, certainly not after the PS4 launch. If Iwata retired tomorrow I wouldn't be so sure it was voluntary.

get2sammybAdmin

#13

get2sammyb said:

@rjejr No, I'd say that's a reasonable assumption. 19 years is a long time, he's just successfully launched the fastest selling games console of all time, and he's never going to top that E3 appearance. There could be a bigger story at play, but I'd argue that it's most likely he's probably just ready to move on.

adf86

#14

adf86 said:

@rjejr No I don't think so. Company executives don't really leave overnight just like that cos they have to answer to stock holder etc. This was probably been in the pipeline for months now. At least the man held his position for 19 years though, Microsoft have had three different leaders of Xbox in the last year.

BornOfEvil

#15

BornOfEvil said:

This sucks, Jack was one of my favorite Sony execs, so I wish him luck in all his future endeavors. Hopefully his replacement is as ballsy as him, Jack murdered Microsoft at E3.

get2sammybAdmin

#16

get2sammyb said:

In case people are curious, Layden's credits include God of War III, LittleBigPlanet, Demon's Souls, Gran Turismo 2, and many, many more. Not bad at all.

TasukiStaff

#17

Tasuki said:

Out of the big 3 gaming console companies/divisions hes was my favorite. All the Nintendo fanboys jump up and down about Reggie but Tretton had much more class then Reggie ever did plus he seemed to listen to the fans more. I agree @get2sammyb: E3's wont be the same again. His last E3 appearance will be talked about for years. I wish him luck on whatever or wherever he goes from here. I also wish luck to the guy who's replacing him, he definitely has some big shoes to fill.

divinelite

#18

divinelite said:

He is one of the most respectful exec I've ever known
Well I hope the successor will be able to make SCEA even better

Gamer83

#20

Gamer83 said:

This is one of those good news, bad news deals. Was never a fan of Tretton so don't really care about him leaving although this new guy looks like he might be even more unlikeable. I'll give Tretton this, he clearly knows a sinking ship when he sees one. The initial sales were strong but those will start drying up soon as well. I really think PS is done unless Sony sells it to a company with a clue.

@get2sammyb

That winning is coming to an end in a few weeks when Titanfall releases. And MS still has money to spend on other third party exclusives and I'm not ruling out being surprised by some great first party content. And I think it's time we all stop trying to pretend everything is fine at Sony. An explanation is still needed for the garbage that just went on at Naughty Dog. Until debunked, I'll believe the rumors those two scumbags Straley and Druckmann forced out one of the most talented people in this industry and don't think that won't have an impact long term. While the hardcore fanboys can down play it, I'm sure not everyone at ND is happy about this right now. Those two slobs got a little too big headed.

Can't wait to see what next week brings. Not a week goes by without terrible news about Sony.

get2sammybAdmin

#22

get2sammyb said:

@Gamer83 While I agree with many of your points, and I think Titanfall is going to be a huge game, that bundle ain't tracking quite so hot on a lot of the major online outlets. Let's wait and see...

Gamer83

#23

Gamer83 said:

@get2sammyb

It's a shooter and it's North America, it will move consoles. Although if it doesn't, I'm saying it's simply down to price. As much as I think MS is in position to take the NA market back, easily with the way Sony is trending lately, the people there do have their heads up their rearends in regards to pricing. Get the stupid Kinect out of the box and drop the price to $400.

TasukiStaff

#24

Tasuki said:

@Gamer83: No offense man but your negative attitude is starting to bring me down. If you are so unhappy with Sony why did you run out and buy a PS4 no one forced you to buy it. If you think that the Xbox will do so much better with Titanfall it makes one wonder why you didn't get an Xbox One.

Gamer83

#25

Gamer83 said:

@Tasuki

Well, I can explain why I didn't get an Xbox One and why I won't get one anytime soon, very easily. Don't trust MS. I didn't like the DRM policy and I'm still fearful it can come back in full force. I also think it's possible Sony and even Nintendo could implement it but I'll worry about that if or when the time comes. I bought a PS4 because I've been a PlayStation fan since the PSone, but I'm not going to be positive when there isn't positive news. And every week just brings more bad news about Sony, outside of PS4's sales.

TasukiStaff

#26

Tasuki said:

@Gamer83: Fair enough, but I think you are putting too much faith into Titanfall. I honesty don't think that it will move Xbox Ones maybe a few but the fact that its coming out on Xbox 360 and PC most people will probably get it on one of those systems instead of picking up an Xbox One. Heck I know the big players are going to want the PC version due to the fact that there will be mods for it in the future.

Gamer83

#27

Gamer83 said:

@Tasuki

I guess we'll see. If it doesn't move a lot of X1's... MS is in a bit of trouble, no question. In the end I'm not sure how successful all these consoles will be three, four years from now. Things are a little strange lately. While Nintendo is still doing well in the handheld market, it seems more lost than ever in regards to home consoles. MS is MS, it does some things I think are actually good but then will turn around and negate any positive feelings I have towards the company by doing something scummy, and Sony for all the early success PS4 is having, seems to be falling apart at the seams in regards to its first party studios and really the company as a whole.

Anyway, I'll leave that as my last comment on this article so as to not get it more negative than this news is by itself (though again, I never really understood why people love Tretton). Hopefully the news gets better soon, believe it or not, I don't like being negative either.

adf86

#29

adf86 said:

@Gamer83 I know you have strong concerns with Sony but I'm surprised that you don't think of the rational reasons behind some of the things you've complained about.
1. Sony can't release MLB on time.
Probably because Sony want to Vita & PS3 versions out of the way before dedicating the marketing budget behind the PS4 version.
2. DriveClub delay.
Evolution are prioritizing get the game at 1080p 60fps, they would have been under massive pressure to get the game out for launch but it didn't happen. You can't have a go at a publisher who are prioritizing the quality of the product rather than meeting a deadline E.G. Battlefield 4.
3. Santa Monica lay offs.
Loss of jobs always sucks but we know full well that the studio is hiring, chances are the studio wanted new blood with different skills with certain game genres. As for the cancelled game... well Sony hasn't officially confirmed that so for all we know they maybe still working on it.
4. Amy Hennig
I already went in detail about what I think on the actual article but what I will say is I think your out of order calling Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley "scumbags" when you don't know what there like as people. For all we know Amy Hennig might have proved to be the problem at the studio so she left...like I say we don't know.
5. Sony falling apart.
Sony are doing ok, yes they maybe in the red but they are in much better shape then they were 3 or 4 years ago. They've sold off Vaio so that's resources saved, Sony pictures has Spiderman and the breaking bad spin off out this year so they should bring some tidy profits in. Playstation is going incredibly strong to the point where Sony can almost coast on that success until E3 where I'm sure big things will be announced.
I hope this gets thinking that it's not doom and gloom with regards to Sony mate. Running a game development studio can be bloody difficult and yes some will lose jobs and publishers may stumble a bit but please remember that Sony has been in the gaming scene for 20 years now I think we have a right to assume that they know what they are doing.
Be Lucky.

WaLzgiStaff

#30

WaLzgi said:

@adf86 To clarify, he was with Sony for 19 years but was president of SCEA for 4 years (since 2010)

gr8apeb8

#31

gr8apeb8 said:

Titanfall is a single game, with a 500 dollar console attached to it. With the unemployment the way it is here in North america that's a hefty price to pay for a single game on a system that has the possibility of screwing you later with bad policies. To continue that thought I believe most of the developer layoffs were in North America. There have also been layoffs at third party developers. Layoffs are a big trend over here right now trust me I'm a recent casualty of one. Gamer83 is not all gloom but also a bit of a realist. But we can take heart that if things were sinking that quickly the layoffs would be spread more evenly across all first party developers instead of focusing on just two in one part of the world. Let's be patient and see what April and May bring for us PS players. Please excuse all grammatical errors, it's been a while since I have had to practice the art of correspondence.

Bad-MuthaAdebis

#33

Bad-MuthaAdebis said:

Sales aren't the only good news, the first party games are ridiculously good. Xb1 to me seems pointless. They won't overtake Sony in the US anytime soon if at all and the rest of the world has already spoken and want the superior experience of ps4.

Ps4all

#35

Ps4all said:

Wow, Jack Tretton is one of the few suits out there I can say I really admired. I hope he is going to another awesome job (watch out Reggie fils-aime!).

3Above

#36

3Above said:

@Gamer83 I get that Titanfall is a big deal but so is Second Son. Illadmit that alot of weird things are going on at PlayStation though.

charlesnarles

#37

charlesnarles said:

Sony's NYSE price went up about 20% heh not sure if it's related. I'm ready for a new SCEA head, maybe we'll get some better commercials!

Shaolin

#38

Shaolin said:

@Carl-G @get2sammyb @Gamer83 @Tasuki

Can we show Jack Tretton a little bit of respect here. Regardless of whether you like him or not I don't believe his exit deserves to be trampled over by bringing Microsoft into the focus of these comments. Is it at all possible to have a single week around here where the comments don't bring Xbox into the conversation (actually that goes for the editorial too)?

@get2sammyb Sammy you wrote a very informative and balanced article. I understand that you were retorting to Carl-G's comment but you really don't need to get drawn into this silly Xbox thing every time. What has gleefully tracking Titanfall bundle orders got anything to do with celebrating Jack Tretton's career? That's like cheering in a tennis match when your player's opponent serves a double fault. I prefer to concentrate on how well PlayStation is doing and PlayStation alone.

To constantly be obsessed with how Xbox is doing distorts our focus on PlayStation and it makes us all look like we have chips on our shoulders, which I'm hoping isn't the case. If my feedback is worth anything, I vote for less bile commenting towards Xbox and more focus on the treasure of all things PlayStation.

adf86

#39

adf86 said:

@Shaolin This is very true, it's so easy to get caught up in arguments over which console is better etc. I've been guilty of that before so I don't blame anyone else that does too. I mean some think Sony's studios are in a mess but people need to remember the state of the PS3 in it's early days when it seemed that the only exclusive people were excited for was Metal Gear Solid 4, PS4 has far more in exclusive content in it's first year, whether it be timed, console or full exclusive. @Unca_Lz Ah of course, thanks for clarifying that mate.

Shaolin

#40

Shaolin said:

@adf86 I personally don't think that Sony's studios are anywhere near being in the mess that people are fearing right now. They will be vindicated when the games come out :)

rjejr

#43

rjejr said:

@Gamer83 - Always appreciate reading your comments, but I'm a little puzzled by this one:

"I really think PS is done unless Sony sells it to a company with a clue."

um, what gaming company has a better clue than Sony? You yourself talk about the X1 being too expensive and need to take the Kinect out of the box, and I spent this morning writing a similar rant concerning Nintendo and it's complete lack of support of the Wii U over on NL. The Ouya isn't exactly doing gangbusters. The Nvidia Shield seems a little under the radar. Apple and Google dont seem to want any part of home console gaming, Apple treat Apple tv as a self described hobby. Just what company would be doing a better job w/ the PS than Sony? PS+ is the best gaming deal available right now. PS4 surpassed 16 months of Wii U sales in 4, and it's maybe double X1. PS3 caught Xbox360 sales after a slew of early mistakes by bringing out good games which will likely happen again.

Not saying Vita isn't a proprietary memory card mess, but who would be handling the PS brand as a whole better than Sony? Mt Gox? ;-)

TasukiStaff

#45

Tasuki said:

@Shaolin: Not sure why you called me out, but I assure you no disrespect was made on my part to Mr. Tretton. But honestly to ignore the others companies can't be helped, being competitors Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are all in this together. Heck if you want to get technical one of the biggest things that Jack will be remembered for was how he stuck it to Microsoft last E3, so I don't see how mentions other companies is disrespectful to him.

Also the staff talks about all aspects of the PS brand be it positive or negative. To ignore the negative would be unrealistic you can't have the good without the bad. Every company has its ups and downs whether you want to believe it or not.

WaLzgiStaff

#46

WaLzgi said:

@rjejr Despite the PS4's success, Sony as a whole is in a downward spiral. Maybe that's what he is referring to

Shaolin

#47

Shaolin said:

@Tasuki I included you because you were part of that conversation that I was referring to in my previous comment, that's all (i.e. your #24).

On the other hand, regarding your view that "you can't have the good without the bad", well that is often the case but we what we don't need to do is labour that point when we're trying to honour the career of a gentleman. There is a time and a place for everything and sometimes it's just good manners to temporarily keep that stuff to yourself for the sake of someone else instead. Just in the same way that relatives arguing at a funeral take the focus away from the life achievements of the recently deceased. it's just inconsiderate. You say that one of the biggest things that Jack Tretton will be remembered for is E3 2013 but you know what I'll bet you he'd rather be known for his titanic achievements over the years of making high quality PlayStation gaming available to the masses. An altogether more positive attribute don't you think? And a more professional one too.

Gamer83

#48

Gamer83 said:

@Unca_Lz @rjejr

Yeah, clue, may not have been the best word to use there. It's just been a steady stream of bad news since October, and this is just another. The president of SCEA leaving when the product he helped put out there is showing great early momentum? It raises an eyebrow for sure.

Kage_88

#49

Kage_88 said:

"While the timing is probably not the best, there’s unlikely to be a bigger narrative at play here."

Yes, there is. He's jumping a sinking ship. Sorry, but that's the way I see it.

Good luck to Shawn Layden - he has a hell of a job to do.

Gamer83

#50

Gamer83 said:

@Kage_88

When you look at all the other stuff going on... that really is the only conclusion that can be drawn from this.

rjejr

#51

rjejr said:

@Gamer83 @Unca_Lz - I don't think it was the word "clue", you could have used "idea" or "focus" or "common sense" but my point still stands about PS4 doing really well right now, and even Vita looks like it may survive judging by all the coverage on here lately, Wii U seems about as relevant to gaming right now as the Dreamcast. And I mean the Dreamcast right now, not when it was being crushed by PS2. At least Dreamcast was always in the conversation, now its just X1 and PS4, who talks about Wii U? Not even Nintendo.

Though if you want to say Sony as a whole is messed up, well yeah, I think that 24" 3D display - not a tv, not a computer monitor, a "display" - sums up Sony as a company pretty well, over priced garbage nobody wanted. But between them, MS, and Nintendo, Sony still seems the most relevant and well run right now, even w/ Titanfall coming out. Amazon is supposed to unveil a TV Kindle this month - like Apple TV but w/ Prime, or Roku for Netflix - and i fit has games like Ouya, I think it can be a concern for both Wii U and X1, but PS4 seems ok.

I don't own a Vita, PS4 or 3DS, but I do own a Wii U, PS3 and Samsung 7" tablet. My PC runs Win 8.1 but I don't game on it.

Punished_Boss_84

#52

Punished_Boss_84 said:

This isn't a sinking ship only if you latch on to conspiracy theories sure, its cause to worry but a sinking ship is pushing it.

PS4 is doing extremely well (without any exclusives), PS3 is selling ok and PS Vita is surviving (this has always been a problem). Unless someone can tell me what exactly is wrong? Sinking ship wise, tell me.

Gamer83

#53

Gamer83 said:

@rjejr

PS4 is ok for now, and hopefully it continues for however long Sony is around. It's in the worst financial situation of the big 3 though. Nintendo could have another couple systems fail and still be alright. MS is MS. For Sony's sake I hope the PS4 sales continue to remain strong (provided it offers games to warrant those sales, which I would guess will happen) and I hope Kaz figures out a way to fix the other divisions. I actually bought a lot of Sony products back in the day that were awesome. Now, it's only PlayStation.

WaLzgiStaff

#54

WaLzgi said:

@rjejr Honestly I find it surprising that the PS4 is doing so well, considering that the Vita and PS3 nearly flopped after launch and Sony's other subsidiaries aren't doing as well. I confess that I thought the PS4 was going to flop as well despite the hype

rjejr

#55

rjejr said:

@Unca_Lz - I don't know why PS4 is selling well either. The only real reason I can think of is b/c MS botched the X1 DRM and price and Big Brother 1984 Kinect stuff so badly and everybody had this money in their pocket trying to get out (that's why I bought a Wii U, birthday money to spend on Wii U or bills). But $400 for Resogun and Knack and PS3 ports?

But it is selling, for no obvious reason, and I don't see any reason for it to stop now that it has the momentum. Titanfall will sell some X1, but I don't see it taking away from the PS4 sales, just Xbox360 owners upgrading. And I bet they are glad they waited for that bundle.

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