During the “Story Time” panel at PlayStation Experience, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida, Publisher & Developer Relations Head Adam Boyes and PlayStation Software Product Development Head Scott Rohde told quite a few funny and interesting stories about their experiences at PlayStation.
Rhode mentioned that Yoshida-san appeared pretty intimidating during the earliest period he was working with him, so everyone at SCEA was quite afraid to send over bad news to the Japanese executive. That caused the act of sending the mail including said bad news to be called by some “Russian Shulette.”
Of course things changed as their working relationship deepened and progressed over time, fueled by the common passion for games, in fact when they get together now, they don’t talk much about business, but more about the games they’re playing.
Maybe Yoshida-san was intimidating because of the influence of his former boss, Ken Kutaragi. He explained that working for Kutaragi-san was hard, and especially the engineering team had a really difficult time. Every Monday he appeared at the office with a new idea.
Things were made more complicated because Kutaragi-san was apparently gifted with the ability of often completely forgetting what he said the day before, so the engineering team had to decide on how much of what he said they would actually execute.
It was also very difficult to get complimented by the competitive Kutaragi-san, and Yoshida-san himself was praised by him only twice, which is seen as extraordinary by his colleagues.
Another funny story was told by Boyes, who mentioned that he had been a fan of Lucasarts’ games for a long time, so he tried to talk first with Lucas’ studio and then with Disney about acquiring their IP.
Yet, he hadn’t thought to tell Tim Schafer himself about those maneuvers, and Schafer was advised about them by Disney, creating a rather sizable misunderstanding.
Schafer called Boyes inquiring on what Sony was doing, and Boyes had to do drive out to Double Fine’s office and do some fast explaining to convince him that the house of PlayStation was trying to get the IP for him to work on, and not to take them away from him. That’s how the relationship with Double Fine we’re witnessing today started, and how Boyes learned that he should always ask the author first, before trying to acquire an IP.
As usual, the panel was extremely interesting, and dripping with passion and love for games and gaming. It’s hard to imagine just how many more stories Shu Yoshida and his merry companions have to share. Hopefully the whole thing will be made available on Youtube soon for those that missed it.