Sony Santa Monica has been hit by layoffs today, the studio has confirmed. In a statement issued to IGN, the platform holder revealed that the move is a result of “resource re-alignment” and is a decision which it “hasn’t taken lightly”. The firm added that it has offered any affected employees “outplacement services and severance packages in order to ease the transition”.
It’s unclear how many workers have been let go, but the abovementioned publication reports that one of the projects that the developer was working on may have been cancelled in the process. Much like Naughty Dog and Guerrilla Games, the Sony-owned subsidiary currently consists of multiple teams, with ex-God of War directors Stig Asmussen and Cory Barlog reportedly heading up separate projects. The status of both of these unannounced titles is currently unknown.
As such, the news is concerning. Earlier in the year, the developer announced that it had secured a larger office space, and indicated that it was actually looking to expand as part of the move south to Playa Vista. Fascinatingly, a video designed to depict the culture at the outfit has been mysteriously set to private on the platform holder’s YouTube channel.
It’s hard to imagine that something major has gone awry in the month or so since that clip was released, making today’s round of job losses all the more confounding. In addition to its own internal productions, the studio also supports external developers such as Honeyslug and Ready at Dawn, so it’s possible that the layoffs could be related to that area of its operations. Until we get more information, though, it’s really hard to say. In the meantime, our thoughts go out to all of those affected.