Sony has said that the recent layoffs at God of War developer Sony Santa Monica is the result of a high profile project and the studio in general needing a “reboot.”
Speaking with IGN, head of internal software development for the PlayStation brand Scott Rohde didn’t say what projects the studio is still working on, only that “sometimes, a project needs a reboot. So that’s what we’re doing overall with the titles we’re working on there, and the studio itself.”
Rhode again did not confirm that any in-development game had been canceled, but said that “There’s not a single business on the planet where every single project that is started is a success.”
Rhode confirmed that even after the layoffs, the studio still employs around 200 people.
As to when and what we’ll see from Santa Monica next, Rhode said we’ll just have to be patient and wait.
The studio opened in 1999 and rose to prominence after creating the original God of War. The last game the studio launched was God of War: Ascension. We know that it is currently collaborating with developer Ready at Dawn on the PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886.
“Game publishers like to talk about how new IPs are scary and risky and usually not worth it… but this is clearly poor thinking, because every single megablockbuster franchise, that Mr. Business Suit Guy would rather put the money toward, was once a new IP,” Blow said on Twitter.
“God of War was once a new IP. Call of Duty was once a new IP. etc,” Blow added. “It is so obvious, how does Mr. Business Suit not see this? Maybe next time I meet Mr. Business Suit I will ask him to name an Old IP that was not once a New IP.”
Little is known about Sony Santa Monica’s new IP, which had been in development since 2010 before its reported cancellation this week. Importantly, we do not know the full situation surrounding the game’s shutdown. Sony’s official line is that the job cuts were the result of a “cycle of resource realignment against priority growth areas,” but the company has not spoken publicly about the affected game.
Do you think Blow has a point? Let us know in the comments below.
“Yesterday, I was laid off. It was a good 10 year run & I got to make three 90+ games. I lived the dream & got to accomplish all of my goals. Except one… making something out of nothing & creating a new AAA IP,” Hawkins said on Twitter.
“The saddest part of waking up today is I no longer get to work with my family. Secondly, the pain that I feel for my friends who have lost their jobs,” he added. “The saddest & most important part is the game I was creating for the player that will never be played. I’m sorry that I’ve failed you.”
With the new IP canceled, what is Sony Santa Monica working on? In addition to supporting Ready at Dawn’s PlayStation 4-exclusive The Order: 1886, the studio is also working on a mystery project led by veteran designer Cory Barlog that is described only as “freaking huge.”
After hearing the recent news that South Park: Stick of Truth will be censored it made me think that censorship is a pretty strange beast right now.
Back in 1976 we saw Death Race come under fire because you had to run over gremlin stick men. Nowadays we see games like Grand Theft Auto selling amazingly, without any harsh censorship.
Grand Theft Auto V has a torture scene, the player is even in control of it. Torture is not a new thing in gaming, it extends into the likes of Gears of War, where we see brutal executions, and Mortal Kombat, where we can perform fatalities.
[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a Sony representative confirmed the job cuts in a statement to GameSpot. The company did not, however, address the speculation that an in-development game had been canceled.
“SCEA can confirm that we have completed a reduction in workforce at Santa Monica Studio,” the Sony representative said. “This is a result of a cycle of resource re-alignment against priority growth areas within SCE WWS. We do not take these decisions lightly. However, sometimes it is necessary to make changes to better serve the future projects of the studio. We have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease transition for those impacted.”
The original story is below.
Citing “reliable sources,” IGN reports that Sony enacted a round of layoffs at God of War developer Sony Santa Monica Studio today. The outfit–own by Sony and based in Santa Monica, California–is currently supporting Ready at Dawn on The Order: 1886 in addition to its own work on an unannounced PlayStation 4 game.
IGN’s sources do not specify how many jobs may have been cut in total, though the tipsters said it is possible that one of the studio’s in-development projects has been canceled. Sony has not commented on the report so far today and we’ve reached out to the company for a statement.
Back in the 90s there was a war, a war so epic that it’s still talked about today. It is, of course, the SEGA Vs. Nintendo console war.
Sony Pictures is teaming up with Scott Rudin, of The Social Network, to create a film called “The Console Wars” which is also a book by Blake Harris, due out in August. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will be attached to the directing and writing of the movie.
The book comprises over 200 interviews from employees of SEGA and Nintendo.
Kamen Rider: Battride War II makes its debut on PlayStation 3 and Wii U in Japan on June 26. While we wait for the movie-themed stages and Rider kicking action to commence, Namco Bandai has a new teaser trailer for the Heisei-heavy sequel.