The sunny Californian city of Santa Monica may be right at the heart of God of War creator Sony Santa Monica’s name, but the first-party developer has outgrown its current home and is moving south to Playa Vista this summer. The news comes on the back of a massive recruitment drive, which the studio hopes will prepare it properly for PlayStation 4 development.
“We took some time to hone in on location,” boss Shannon Studstill told Variety. “We love Santa Monica. It’s been our home for over a decade.” However, the developer’s new quarters will give it four to five times more space, allowing it to not only expand its workforce even further, but also encourage greater collaboration among its multiple teams.
In order to further that communal concept, the company will be merging the five separate kitchens in its new digs into a single dining area. “We’re going to drive traffic to that space,” the executive added. “We’ll hopefully create more of a culture of sharing.” The studio currently has a workforce of around 240 employees, but its new office will house up to 800 staff. That’s quite the upgrade.
Of course, the larger quarters will allow it to expand upon its roster of on-site workspaces, with extra conference rooms, an improved sound bay, and even a motion capture studio all readily available at any time. This all lends credence to the rumour suggesting that the developer may now be a three team studio.
Late last year, God of War II director Cory Barlog returned to the bosom of the North American outfit, hinting that he’d been given the creative freedom to assemble his own workforce under the company’s umbrella. Meanwhile, God of War III director Stig Asmussen is reportedly beavering away on a game set in space, while the remnants of the God of War: Ascension team recently turned their attention to the PS4.
This is all in addition to the work that Sony Santa Monica does with independent outfits, too, with some of its upcoming projects including Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Hohokum, and Ready at Dawn's alternate history opus The Order: 1886. Now that we’ve listed all of that out, we suppose that the massive new office space makes sense.
Still, we’ll be interested to see whether the studio changes its name. It’d be a bit odd for a developer dubbed Sony Santa Monica to not be based in Santa Monica, but we don’t think that Sony Playa Vista has quite the same ring to it. Do you think that the company should come up with a different moniker, or stick with its existing one? Get creative in the comments section below.