News Article

Cory Barlog Recruiting a New Team at Sony Santa Monica

Posted by Sammy Barker

God of War II director working on something huge

Cory Barlog’s “crazy announcement” turned out to be exactly what we expected: the God of War II director is returning to his former stomping ground, Sony Santa Monica. In an enormous post on the PlayStation Blog, the outspoken developer talked candidly about the time that he spent away from the studio that gave him his big break – and his reason for wanting to return.

“I felt that I was ready to come back home – home to where it all started,” he said. “There I would use my newly honed powers of awesome to create something that will rock the free world.” Since leaving Sony Santa Monica, the veteran has held positions all over the globe – including notable roles at Avalanche and Crystal Dynamics.

“Did I become the master craftsman that I originally set out to become?” he pondered. “Well, no, not yet. I learned that the 'master' part is a goal best left on the horizon, always appearing attainable, but just out of reach. That keeps you hungry and at the top of your game.” Those are some extremely wise words.

But enough navel gazing – what’s Barlog up to now that he’s back? “Sadly, I can’t tell you yet,” he teased. “But I can say that it’s freaking huge, and it will live up to the standards that I helped establish here at Sony Santa Monica. We’re putting together a team as I type this – an Ocean’s Eleven kind of thing.”

He added: “We are searching the world high and low for the best of the best to come and be on the ground floor of this endeavour. So, hey, if you’re a freaking rock star unafraid to roll your sleeves up and take risks, reading this thinking that your current digs are feeling, well, a bit small, a bit dull, and in need of some excitement – you need to contact me at Sony Santa Monica.”

The most interesting thing about the veteran’s message is that it sounds like he’s been given the freedom to construct his own team, meaning that he’s not working with an established group of developers as we originally predicted. That means that there could soon be three units within Sony Santa Monica.

We already know that there are two main squads at the North American studio: the God of War: Ascension team, as well as Stig Asmussen’s group. That's in addition to the external operations division responsible for titles such as The Order: 1886 and The Unfinished Swan.

Judging by Barlog’s comments, though, he’s not working with either, but starting something brand new, presumably for the PlayStation 4. We’ll probably have to wait a few years before we get to taste the fruits of his labour, but it’s pretty exciting to have such a talented developer back at the helm of a major first-party project. Roll on the big reveal...


User Comments (15)



belmont said:

Wow. I liked gow 2 and ghost of sparta but I have never heard of him. In fact, even though I play lots of games, the only game makers that come to mind are Hideo, the guy who created Mario and the former SEGA guy who helped create PS4.



sajoey said:

This is so super hype. God of War II was my favorite in the series, and Ghost of Sparta had one of the best scripts in the series, so for this guy to be working on something massive with his own customized, hand-picked team at Santa Monica, I see nothing but good things coming out of this.



get2sammyb said:

@belmont I actually think this is one of the problems with the industry — we rarely learn much about the people who make the games that we play. Granted, not everyone wants to be inside the spotlight, but I don't think developers get enough credit for the work they do.

Having said that, Barlog is definitely one of the "rock star" developers. There's a crazy amount of talent at Sony Santa Monica right now. That really is an insane studio. Judging by the above comments, it sounds like they're on the crusade for more, too.



get2sammyb said:

@Z9DaftRadio It sounds like he's starting something new. That's the vibe I get from his comments. So, SSM could be a three team studio moving forwards. We'll have to wait for more information.



Dolphan2388 said:

SSM has some serious talent! I wonder what Seth killian is working on. I'm excited to see what Cory new game will be and hopefully we see stigs new ip at gamescom.



get2sammyb said:

@Dolphan2388 I think he works on the external stuff. Here's what he said in an interview we did last year:

Yeah, unfortunately my other projects are unannounced. I hope all of them will go into full production. Some of them will, but others might not. But, regardless of what happens, I'm a believer in all of them, and I hope that they find their audience internally. Hopefully, we’ll have something to share in the short-term, or before too long at least. I'm really enjoying myself, though. I believe in all of the people that I'm working with, and I'm learning so much. We really do work with some of the most talented developers and teams in the world, and I'm really proud of them. I'm going to make sure that I do my best to really support their efforts, and make sure they go all of the way.



-CraZed- said:

@get2sammyb While I do agree that it is a shame we don't know a lot about those who make some of our favorite games it can be a double edged sword as with the recent Phil Fish fiasco...

But Barlog is a great developer and I too am looking forward to seeing what they are cooking up over there at Sony SM.



hYdeks said:

Santa Monica makes awesome games, hopefully its a new ip to get my excited for PS4.

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