News Article

God of War Studio Sony Santa Monica Slashed by the Blades of Corporate Chaos

Posted by Sammy Barker

By Zeus' beard

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.

[via uk.ign.com]

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User Comments (50)

BornOfEvil

#2

BornOfEvil said:

I got scared for a second, but then I read the article and saw that sadly, people were getting layed off rather than the studio shutting down.

Reverend_Skeeve

#3

Reverend_Skeeve said:

This sends a somewhat troubling message to core gamers like us, I think. The general casual gamer will not even know this happened, but for the informed, it looks strange that just a few weeks after moving into a bigger location and with not that many 1st party games announced, Sony decides to fire a part of Sony SM.

Gamer83

#4

Gamer83 said:

I'm starting to think I bet on the wrog horse in this race. If only MS hadn't come up with those obscene DRM policies or if Nintendo's first party studios had their heads out of their a**es and the company could attract real third party support.

Sanquine

#5

Sanquine said:

@Gamer83 So that means because of cancelled IP you are throwing your PS4 out of the window? Please sell it to me then. You can nag all you want but i'm still waiting for my PS4 because it's sold out every time. My pre order isn't forfilled and i have to wait till march or april before i get it.

get2sammybAdmin

#6

get2sammyb said:

@Gamer83 It's really too early to say anything about this because we simply don't know the details. The project could have been very early and not going anywhere. It could have been complete trash. It could have been cut so they can focus their efforts on something else. We just don't know.

I will agree it's a touch concerning because SSM has supposedly been working on a space game for four years, which you'd think would be ready for announcement by now. If that's been cut, then that'd be a shame. But we just don't know.

Gamer83

#7

Gamer83 said:

The company is losing money even with PS4's success so far, no real huge games annunced, still can't get Driveclub out the door and now unannounced games are being cancelled. I can't wait for the Sony slaves to spin this one. Sony is failing hard lately, the sales for PS4 look good up to this point but I don't see how anybody can look at other things going on and suggest this is a healthy company.

SuperSilverback

#8

SuperSilverback said:

I hold back from going insane over this until we actually find out what it means. Even then, ill probably not go insane over it. Like @get2sammyb said, could have been an early/awful ip

Sanquine

#9

Sanquine said:

@Gamer83 Sony Slaves? Guy you need to go the doctor. If i was your boss i would fire you for being a pessimist xD. No one is saying it's a healthy company either? I think i as controller know a thing about financial stuff... Overreacting isn't helping you and people don't take you seriously because you are always nagging... I hope your personal life isn't that negative.

Cyrso

#10

Cyrso said:

@Gamer83 Betting on a horse in this race?

Seriously? When has this ever been a race? It's just a hobby dude, you don't need to take the console wars so seriously ugh. Why don't you buy all three consoles if you're taking it so seriously? How will this personally affect you when you don't know anything about what actually happened behind the scenes?

Just shut up if you don't know anything about video game development. Why would you even buy a console at launch if you know it's always going to take a while until the library get meaty?

Why should you even care as a consumer about the company's financials? If they make quality products I'm willing to buy it, that's it.

I hate the gaming community, never seems to enjoy anything at all. Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony don't owe you anything. It's up to you to decide whether or not you buy their products.

****ing gaming community man, really taking this console war stuff too seriously. You know it really sucks when people are actually almost up to celebrate layoffs like these.

Sick of all these console war stuff, haters and trolls. I think I'm going to quit following all these video game news, the community just simply sucks, sorry.

Stop focusing so much on the things you hate and go play a game as escapism.

One thing I like about PC gaming is that I don't feel associated with all this console war shit, all these: "WERE ARE MY FIRST-PARTY GAMES, STOP GIVING ME INDIES LOL YOU OWE ME GAMES".

Sell your PS4 if you're not happy with it (you can sell it without making a loss anyway at buy it in a few years again when the library should be better), is is that hard? I'm a big gaming fan and I don't have a PS4 yet either..

No wonder that video games are still considered a meaningless medium with this fucking whiny immature community.

Sanquine

#11

Sanquine said:

@Get2Sammyb Good luck with the website. I'm done here. I can't stand people like Gamer83 who only can talk about Corperate slaves.. LOL he is the perfect example for how spoiled consumers have become.

SimonAdebisi

#14

SimonAdebisi said:

It all seems a bit odd really. It would be nice to get a proper announcement on reasons for the lay offs rather than dribs and drabs, rumours and such floating around.

Gamer83

#15

Gamer83 said:

If one of you two can point to me where I was celebrating layoffs please do so. I'm not the one overreacting, I didn't post anything fanboyish, I'm concerned with some of the stuff going on over at Sony because I like its products and this is negative news, period, but there will be people who try to spin it.

N711

#16

N711 said:

@Cyrso I agree man. I cant understand why people would be fan of such and such companies.. I dont care how many millions Sony and M$ make or lose. i just like my playstations. and actually these redundancies dont mean much and they were working on 5 projects so maybe 1 not so promising project was given up. Gamer83 often express some negativity but eveyone they opinions after all

Sanquine

#19

Sanquine said:

@Gamer83 this? Who wants to spin it? I don't? Its just your comment about betting on the wrong horse. You need your AAA game now or else Sony sucks. You should always be concerned about Sony since they havent been in the black for a long time. And i say again no one is defending Sony it's just baffles me that your so negative while you have a PS4... Im waiting 3 months now and I expect to wait longer

Cyrso

#22

Cyrso said:

@Gamer83 That one was a bit too extreme, my bad.

But come on, there is nothing to spin here. Why are you being so obnoxious and why do you need to shoot out ad hominems instantly when nobody has a clue about what how the game development at SSM is proceeding and therefore nobody even attempted to 'spin' this in the first place?

Maybe they're scaling back to one single team to focus on one single project at one time now, and they couldn't move all the artists and concept designers of the one project to the other project, because the other project was probably already in full production. That's how game development goes, you can't put everyone on the game at the same time since a game is developed in stages.

We don't know.

I only hope all people affected will land on their feet eventually.

Gamer83

#23

Gamer83 said:

I'm not going to bother explaining myself again because it's always the same stuff. If you don't like what I post ignore it, the personal attacks which you Sanquine do a lot of when comments aren't even directed at you, doesn't do anybody any good. And the betting on a horse comment was harmless and shouldn't have to be explained, but, I paid for a product and don't want to see it dead in the water in two years and given Sony's current state I don't think that's impossible. That's all I meant but as usual people overreact to a nothing comment and accuse others of overreating.

get2sammybAdmin

#24

get2sammyb said:

I'm enjoying the discussion in here - I think that's great - but let's keep it friendly, please. Watch the swearing please, @Cyrso.

Sanquine

#25

Sanquine said:

@Gamer83 Because you can't explain yourself ? . You are one of the problems with this website. Personal attacks? Whatever dude! I will ignore you from now on ;)

Sanquine

#26

Sanquine said:

@get2sammyb Friendly? How can someone be friendly against someone like Gamer83 who can only nag about his PS4. He should have bought a xbox one and be done with it. His corperate slave bull**** is something that he keeps repeating.

Gamer83

#27

Gamer83 said:

@Sanquine

The comment was not about you so why do you care? And I'm happy with the PS4 if I wasn't I would have sold it. I really didn't figure you for this big a douchebag.

Reverend_Skeeve

#30

Reverend_Skeeve said:

@Gamer83 You do post lotsa stuff that isn't negative, most of that even interesting and insightful, but lately, you have been coming over as overly negative, in my humble opinion. I agree that the delays that happened are frustrating (I want Driveclub NOEW, too!) and as I said above, I also find this lay offs at SSM slighty troublesome, but as Sammy said, we just don't know what happened there.

At every opportunity lately you complain about the lack of AAA games and AAA-announcements, and indeed I start to wonder why you bought the PS4 at launch in the first place? This surely wasn't your first console launch, so you, as the informed gamer you obviously are, should've/could've seen this drought coming.

I agree with you, that the lack of announcements is frustrating, and I also think it's hurting Sony to play their cards so close to the chest, especially with Titanfall right around the corner and the X1s price drop in the UK.

But you keep foaming at the mouth about it for weeks now, as every constant reader here can attest to, and if someone points it out to you, you go "well, the post wasn't for you, so bloody ignore it if you don't like it".

I got to know Pushsquare as a community where respectful and decent discussion happens, so this feels...off.

Sure, I could just skip what you post, but as I said, often it's fun/insightful to read...I just think that your continuing complaints are getting a little tiresome for other regulars.

And no, I'm not defending Sony...I just wish you'd be able to chill out a little bit and maybe manage to make your point without swearing, even if you X-out the bad words, that's all.

Just my 2 cents, though...peace, everyone!

DaftPlayStation

#31

DaftPlayStation said:

@Gamer83 Given Sony's current state there not in a Sega nor Atari situation yet so it's to early to say things like i paid for a product and don't want to see it dead in the water in two years

Gamer83

#32

Gamer83 said:

@Reverend_Skeeve

You're right, I have been negative because there isn't much to be positive about. Every time I post something that isn't 'thank you Sony I love you,' I'm attacked for being 'whiney' or 'entitled' like it's a damn crime to want a few more AAA games announced. I agree this once was a community where we could have discussions, differing viewpoints, etc, it's changed though and it's not me because my posting style has not changed, even Snquine knows this but we've always been cool, so I don't get his sudden 'you're the problem.' I did say I don't want to be one of the downfalls of the community though and since a ban here means a ban at all 3 websites I'll leave voluntarily before it reaches that point so I can still post at the other two websites. Anyway, sorry if the negativity has been a drain, won't be a problem anymore.

BornOfEvil

#35

BornOfEvil said:

@Gamer83 Microsoft is doing worse, they only have Titanfall (which is behind Second Son) and after that there isn't really much of anything. And it's only been what, 4 months since DriveClub was delayed? I'm as excited for DriveClub as the next guy, but have some patience.

As for Sony as a whole, the PlayStation division is doing well, it's the other struggling divisions that are costing Sony money.

If you want to switch sides because Sony refuses to announce vaporware or a slew of third party multiplats, then you're welcome to.

MorriganIsHot

#36

MorriganIsHot said:

@Cyrso Well said

I never like the gaming community to begin with and they make me sick. Sad enough over at gamespot both xbots and nintendorks are celebrating about this news.

N711

#38

N711 said:

@MorriganIsHot Yea I dont even like the words 'fanboy' 'tool' and loads more just thrown at one another in the so called 'console war'.. Best to smile about it. More annoying are some weirdos trolling everywhere (Ive noticed a couple of creepy ones lately). But Im glad everyone I see here is quite open minded actually

Cyrso

#39

Cyrso said:

@Gamer83 There's no reason to worry about the PS4 being dead after two years. Come on man it just has the most succesful console launch in history meaning publishers are only going to want to capitalize on its success. The Playstation brand is very healthy both in terms of reputation and quality and in terms of finances so really you don need to worry at all.

Heck, at both the DICE Awards and BAFTA awards, in terms of nominations SCE was the #1 publisher with the most nominations by a large margin. They had a ton of great games last year, Puppeteer, Sly Cooper Thieves in Time, The Last of Us, Ratchet & Clank: Nexus, Gran Turismo 6, Beyond Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, Tearaway, Soul Sacrifice.. All decent to amazing games and showing a great diversity. I might sound like a fanboy right now, but looking at the past generations, personally I would argue that SCE is the platform holder with the best first-party games. And Nintendo follows closely in second place imo, and Microsoft in 3rd place. But overall between Nintendo and SCE it's debatable imo. Of course ultimately it's subjective.

Of course you are entitled to your own opinion and of course you can criticize the PS4 all you want, but constantly shooting down everyone and claiming Sony slaves here are going to spin things like these (as I explained there isn't even anything anyone could possible spin here, since we don't know any details), is just extremely annoying and obnoxious, sorry.

You could have known the library of a console that just launched is going to be limited, it's no different for the Xbox One, it wasn't any different Wii U - which had even bigger droughts and had also big delays (Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, Rayman Legends were supposed to be launch window games), it wasn't any different for the 3DS. Surprisingly, I would actually argue it was a bit different for the Vita since that one got a great launch line-up and it had Gravity Rush to counter the "post-launch drought".

And come on layoffs happen regularly, especially in the video game industry because a lot of game designers/artists/programmers etc are employed contractually on a game-per-game basis. Even Microsoft closed Victoria Studios 3 months ago despite having deep pockets and Take Two just closed Irrational Games despite having a lot of money too. Of course SSM is not closed and we can still expect a PS4 game from them.

staticdash22

#41

staticdash22 said:

Sorry guys, but I've got to be objective and agree with @gamer83 this time. PS4 is doing well, but among the other facets of Sony's business and they are still closing studios and laying off workers. 50 people is not a small number, that is pretty much a AAA team in today's market. People need to wake up, and see that not everything is Roses in the Sony camp. They are a business and are dealing with significant financial issues. For the record @sanquine, you did attack him for stating his opinion. If you can't handle negative opinions without getting upset, then forums aren't for you.

That is the way of internet. It's been like that, and will always be like that. I can understand why he feels that way, because he's seeing a whole lot of exciting third party exclusives being announced at microsoft. Sunset Overdrive looks good, and Titanfall is probably going to be the biggest game of March. I'm in love with my PS4 too, but these fast sales of PS4 won't last forever, it's typical business logic.

staticdash22

#43

staticdash22 said:

I'm not sure how I feel about this new strategy at Sony. Keeping quiet all year, and blowing the doors open at E3. That strategy is just....outdated. In today's market, having consistency and a steady stream of content is so important. Why? Because it keeps consumers invested in your ecosystem, and legitimizes their investment. Consoles aren't just entertainment purchases, they are a mid-long term investment of entertainment, being media related or just video gaming.

The growth of the game industry, in the past 10 years is clashing with Sony's old school approach. Video game commercials, gaming events, investor and consumer announcements, etc have thrusted gaming into a higher form of entertainment known widely in popular culture. What I'm trying to say is that gaming events, and separate opportunities for exposure have opened up in the game industry, so the momentum of sales can be continued.

PAX, TGS, Eurogamer expo, Gamescom, VGA/X awards, GDC, E3 are examples of bigger commercial opportunities for companies to take advantage of a larger market. It makes no sense, why we are still huddled up , when people always state that they want gaming to become a bigger part of our culture. Sony continues to let opportunities to increase momentum slide, and yes I know PS4 is still selling out. The time of secluded and ultra secrecy has past. That went out the window with the continued development of the internet, emergence of "insiders", and once video game secured places on T.V commercials. We'll see what happens at E3 this year, but Phil Spencer at Microsoft has echoed exactly what I've said here. They are preparing for E3, Gamescom, PAX, because there are tons of opportunities to increase exposure of xbox One to potential consumers.

Fenriswolf-

#44

Fenriswolf- said:

It's one thing to have an opinion, be it negative or otherwise..it's another thing entirely to continually complain about non-existent issues or irrational fears, and then not have the wisdom to listen to others when they try to explain the reality.

Big-Boss

#45

Big-Boss said:

@ZeD
Damn you i was just about to say that, curses!

@Fenriswolf-
Exactly.

@staticdash22
When someone can name these wonderful third party exclusives which is NOT shared on three platforms (hint: Project Spark, hint: Titanfall) then i would be inclined to believe you but not on PS4 is not exclusive and thats what most people think, implied exclusivity doesn't apply either. And when someone does tell me those exclusives also tell me why you don't purchase an Xbox One? If their strategy is what you like, by all means purchase it. We haven't even reached most of those events BTW, if the time comes and Sony announces nothing of worth, then i will raise the pitchforks until then, its on hold.

Gamer83

#47

Gamer83 said:

@TosserHan

Unfortunately for the people here who think they can chase me off, I'm not leaving. I'll be around to post when Sammy or somebody puts up a review of a game I'm interested in because the staff here does a great job and is one of the few that interacts with its community so I like to acknowledge all their effort, even if it's just a simple 'thanks for the review.' And I play quite a few games so I'll probably be commenting on a fair number of reviews but I said I won't be making anymore long, drawn out regular comments or posting on forums and since I'm a man of my word, I won't after this. I'll let everybody else pretend everything is perfect in the world of PlayStation. That way they leave me alone, I leave them alone, everybody is happy and Sammy doesn't have to pull out the ban hammer.

Fenriswolf-

#48

Fenriswolf- said:

@Gamer83 I don't think anyone is trying to chase you off brother, I think they would just appreciate a little less overreaction to things you really don't understand. And then insulting people with generalizations just adds insult to injury.. Just sayin!

Sanquine

#49

Sanquine said:

@Gamer83 Sorry i am a douche. I can say i have a short temper. I overreacted! It's me who is the problem. I will not make a fuss anymore.

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