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Shawn Layden Hammers Down The Importance Of Preserving Games: ‘This Isn’t Throw-Away Stuff We’re Making’

Former PlayStation US bigwig Shawn Layden has weighed in on the subject of video game preservation during a chat with Lan Parties, stating that more should be done by the big players in the industry to help preserve games.

Preservation is important. I’m hoping that more people in the industry, certainly the big players, begin to realize that there’s an obligation and responsibility. This isn’t throw-away stuff we’re making. This is stuff that should be around for a long time because future generations will enjoy it in the same way that we have and it’s criminal that we’re not doing more to protect it.

Sony in particular has come under attack for its poor attitude towards game preservation, having originally announced plans to shutter the PSP, PS Vita, and PS3 stores back in March 2021. This was met with widespread backlash, resulting in the format holder confirming the Vita and PS3 stores would remain open.

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Meanwhile, Layden also shared his views on consolidation, suggesting it negatively impacts creativity — a few that the former Sony executive has expressed on more than one occasion.

My concern around consolidation is that often it impacts creativity. For instance, it takes some kind of small, independent, wildhorse studios and brings them into a larger conglomerate and essentially time slows down the bigger you are, time slows down. I’m also concerned when studios get bought and instead of enabling a way to create their game, they maybe get absorbed into a larger enterprise that’s making a larger game, you know, how many studios are involved in making blockbuster games that will stagger the mind.

Layden was a much-loved figure in the PlayStation camp during his time with Sony, often fronting the hardware manufacturer’s press conferences and building a strong connection between the company and its fans – something which may feel Jim Ryan has been unable to replicate.

Back in October 2019 Sony announced the sudden and unexpected departure of Layden, who didn’t elaborate on his reasons for leaving the company. Fast forward to September 2022, and the ex-Sony executive confirmed he had joined Tencent as an advisor.

[Source – Lan Parities via VGC]