It’s the end of an era for Sony, as Gio Corsi announced he’s left Sony, per tweets made by the exec. Corsi was dubbed the Head Of Global Second Party Games at PlayStation, according to his LinkedIn. Until April 2018, he was also the Senior Director of Third Party Production & Developer Relations.
Gio Corsi is most recognizable from his appearances on the PlayStation events stages. Especially among fans, he was known as the biggest proponent of bringing third-party titles to the PlayStation Vita, Sony’s underspoken handheld console. Whenever a major title got announced — for instance, Borderlands 2, which was ported by Iron Galaxy — Gio was likely to have had something to say. It was his role at Sony, after all, and fans believed he did a damned good job with it.
This work in bringing titles to the PlayStation was most famously fronted by the initiative “#BuildingTheList.” In 2013, Corsi and fellow exec Adam Boyes asked fans to use the hashtag to request games they wanted to see on the Vita, or simply brought onto PlayStation platforms.
Fans point to this hashtag as being the catalyst for the Yakuza series’s recent rise to fame, as both Yakuza 0 and Yakuza 5, while being cult classics, didn’t receive western releases until recently. Now, the series will have an earlier western launch for the next title in the series. Other games to receive the #BuildingTheList treatment specifically for Vita were Windjammers, The Banner Saga, and Octodad: Dadliest Catch.
He also was the one to announce that Sony would be helping Shenmue 3 achieve production. He and other Sony employees had apparently been considering the cult hit’s sequel since the start of the initiative, as it was near-immediately requested by fans.
Regarding his departure, Corsi shared a sentimental thread on Twitter, looping in his employees and the #BuildingTheList hashtag.
“It’s been a hell of a ride but last week was my final one at PlayStation,” he shared on his Twitter. “I’m taking some time off but I will be back in games soon enough. I’m extremely proud of all the amazing things we accomplished.”
It’s been a hell of a ride but last week was my final one at PlayStation. I’m taking some time off but I will be back in games soon enough. I’m extremely proud of all the amazing things we accomplished. Big love to everyone past & present who made my time there truly special 1/4 pic.twitter.com/sAV34jEcQF
— GIO???? (@giocorsi) November 4, 2019
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In one of his final tweets, he even shouts out the love he got: “Thanks for it all & long love the Vita!” he exclaims at the end of his thread, with a great picture of him wielding two Vitas.
Finally, a hearty thank-you to all the great devs, pubs, partners, friends & fans who made my time at PlayStation so memorable.. so many cool moments. From all the titles, to all the shows, as I said, it was a hell of a ride! Thanks for it all & long love the Vita! 4/4 pic.twitter.com/I78fN9xRSY
— GIO???? (@giocorsi) November 4, 2019
This comes only weeks after Shawn Layden, now-former Worldwide Studios Chairman of Sony, departed from the company. There wasn’t any real reason given for the departure, but in a tweet, Sony called his leadership “visionary,” wishing him “success in future endeavors” and that they were “deeply grateful for his years of service.”
The shift in leadership likely has to do with the imminent release of the next generation of consoles. PlayStation 5 has been officially announced for “Holiday 2020.” Meanwhile, the PlayStation Vue is being cancelled, but PlayStation services are stacking up their features, including chat transcription and more expansive PlayStation Live compatibility. For fans who loved the Vita, though, this is going to be a bittersweet time.