Playstation CEO Jim Ryan retires
PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan is slated to retire from his post on March 2024. AFP / Patrick T. FALLON

Sony Interactive Media announced that PlayStation president and CEO Jim Ryan will leave his post in the company in March 2024.

Ryan has been in service with the company for 30 years since he started at Sony Computer Interactive Europe in 1994. Included in the official statement from SIE is the announcement of the interim CEO that will assume Ryan's place in PlayStation, Sony Group Corporation president and chief operating officer Hiroki Totoki starting April 1, 2024.

State of play

Ryan has been prominent in leading the PlayStation brand throughout the many generations of the iconic gaming console's growth for three decades. He was at the forefront of the PlayStation 5's launch, appearing in many of its showcase videos and promotions. While the PS5 suffered supply chain issues during the pandemic, Sony managed to recover from the setback, selling as much as 40 million since its release in November 2020.

Under Ryan's supervision, SIE also managed to amass first-party game development studios that would eventually build their PlayStation-exclusive games. Among these acquisitions were Santa Monica Studios, Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, Housemarque and Guerrilla Games.

These studios were responsible for titles such as God of War: Ragnarok, The Last of Us Part II, Returnal, and Death Stranding. One of the most highly anticipated titles to release under PlayStation's banner is Marvel's Spider-Man 2, scheduled to release this October.

Makers of the Final Fantasy series Square Enix also made a deal with Sony to release Final Fantasy XVI exclusively on the PS5. The latest addition to the franchise went on to sell for 38 million copies. Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida explained in an interview last June 2023 with Game Informer that the PS5's hardware made it easy to realise his team's vision, which is why they went through the deal with Sony.

Ryan and the console wars

Apart from SIE's major acquisitions and massive sales, Ryan's involvement in hampering Microsoft's attempted buyout of Activision Blizzard. The video game company held exclusive rights to the billion-dollar Call of Duty franchise. Ryan reasoned that should the acquisition push through, it could potentially become a detriment to the gaming community, noting that the move would destroy competition.

Regardless of the competition brewing between their companies, Xbox president Phil Spencer gave Ryan his flowers for his contributions to the gaming industry. He tweeted that he wishes Ryan the best in his future endeavours.

However, Ryan also had detractors regarding Sony's business decisions, some of which even came from Sony's fanbase. When Sony announced that it would cease the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita's digital game market, many of its fans directed their concerns to Ryan.

Ryan ultimately withdrew the plans to stop the digital game market and is still active today.