Three decades have passed since Sony PlayStation first brought to life some of the most beloved franchises in the video game industry.

Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan will retire in March 2024. His tenure began in 1994, the same year the PlayStation launched in Japan. The game console expanded to the US a year later in 1995.

“There was considerable uncertainty before the launch. We moved into a space that had two pretty established occupants, Nintendo and Sega,” Ryan said.

Sean Leyden, the former chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, attributes the PlayStation’s early success to a joint venture between Sony Music and Sony Electronics.

“I think from the beginning the company knew that just being a technology company wasn’t enough. You had to bring in some secret sauce from the entertainment world,” Leyden said.

The PlayStation 2 was released in 2000 and is still the best-selling video game console of all time, with over 155 million consoles sold, according to the company’s financial statements.

“We’ve gone into markets where video games have never been a real thing. So in southern Europe, for example, Italy and Spain and places like the Middle East, we’ve created a gaming culture where none existed,” Ryan said.

But PlayStation’s 30-year history has not been without bumps, and the future remains uncertain. Most recently, Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard posed a serious threat to Sony’s long-standing gaming business.

“The big argument is obviously that Activision is a big game maker. And the concern was that with the acquisition of Microsoft, they would own almost everything that was left of the independent major studios and not share the games with PlayStation,” said Creative Strategies President Carolina Milanesi.

The Japanese gaming giant cut its sales forecast for the PlayStation 5, its latest console due in 2020, on February 14 when it warned of lower demand. Sony laid off 900 employees, or 8% of its PlayStation division on February 27.

Watch the video to learn more about Sony’s PlayStation history and hear what’s next for the company.