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Rumour: Sony Santa Monica's PS4 Sci-Fi Property May Have Been Jettisoned

Posted by Sammy Barker

Intergalactic excursion crash lands

Rumours regarding God of War III director Stig Asmussen’s sci-fi property have been rampant since before Kratos’ angry sandals touched the scorching sands of the Desert of Lost Souls. Last summer, Battlestar Galactica writer Michael Angeli teased the title at Comic-Con, noting that he’d been working with developer Sony Santa Monica for the past two and a half years. Unfortunately, it sounds like the PlayStation 4 project has been scrapped.

Not much is known about the game itself, but it’s believed that it went into full production shortly after the completion of God of War: Ascension last year. A secret message in the aforementioned release teased the upcoming endeavour, hinting that “when the Earth stops, the journey begins”. Sadly, we’ll probably never get to learn the meaning behind the Easter egg, as speculation is rife that the title has been tossed in the trash can.

Yesterday, the platform holder revealed that there had been a number of redundancies at the studio, which it claimed were a result of “resource realignment”. It’s now thought that around 50 employees were let go, with the unannounced space escapade scrapped in the process. Ex-lead level designer Jonathan Hawkins stated as much on Twitter, confirming that he was part of Stig Asmussen’s team and that the new intellectual property has been cancelled.

Considering that the game has been kicking around for almost four years now, it’s particularly harrowing news. It’s not exactly clear why the title was shelved, as there had been some whispers that the team was gearing up for an E3 reveal. Worse still, the developer just acquired a new office, which was supposed to help facilitate its expansion. A recently released video focusing on the studio culture has since been removed from the Japanese giant’s YouTube channel.

While the redundancies are obviously a source of sadness, it’s hard to miss a game that never really existed. Still, the developer has been teasing this new property for some time now, so it’s a massive shame that we’ll never get to see what it actually was. Even more worrying is that we probably won’t be hearing from Sony Santa Monica for a while, with Cory Barlog supposedly sticking around to revive the God of War franchise.


User Comments (19)



ShogunRok said:

Have to say I'll be pretty disappointed if a new God of War comes out and this project is shelved completely.



N711 said:

So its not a SF game then. But why "we probably won’t be hearing from Sony Santa Monica for a while," ??? There s still a new IP coming soon or am I wrong?



get2sammyb said:

@N711 Syphon Filter? Unlikely. From what I can understand, this was the new IP, and it's now dead.

@ShogunRok Reckon a new God of War is exactly what you're going to get. Think it's clear at this point that Cory Barlog has been brought back on board to breathe some life back into the series. To be honest, I still really liked Ascension, and am excited at the prospect of a new instalment on PS4 - just not sure I want more Kratos.

I think the important thing to remember about projects like this is that we don't really know what it was or what it looked like. I know there's a lot of talent on that team, but it's possible that the game could have been shaping up really poorly. It's a shame for sure, though.



ThreadShadow said:

Sad. I don't know what it was, but I was willing to give it a look. Not interested in god of war at all. Interested in seeing new games get a chance.



banacheck said:

I won't to make something that feels instantly familiar yet completely different; something that feels like home on an alien planet with a nitrogen atmosphere. As lame and ‘PR’ as this sounds, the landscape of console gaming is at a pretty freaking awesome point right now. The next generation is going be a chance to really stretch our legs from a design and creative thinking perspective.

Could this be a new GOW who knows, but I'm betting what ever it is it'll be good.

It's ashame about the other game, but hasn't SMS been helping out on The Order 1886 with Ready At Dawn?



Shellybird27 said:

Aww, that sucks. Was looking forward to this, wonder what they're next game will be then.



goonow said:

Sounds like they decided to stay with gow as a safe bet. I cant wait to see what they can do with it on ps4. Ps3 was awesome compared to ps2. That would be really depressing to be apart of stigs team.



KAPADO said:

How could they have failed? Apparently not everyone has that Naughty Dog's tiger blood.



staticdash22 said:

Some sources were told little bits of what happened

Apparently, Bungie's destiny happened. They were caught off guard when Destiny was revealed and how similar their game was to it. So, they tried to salvage the IP by changing up some core principles, but that likely created a much bigger budget and the game started to go into development hell. They couldn't get back on track, and Sony made the hard decision to can it before the budget spirals out of control. They didn't want another last guardian or Agent.

I can understand why this happened. It was a conflict of interest, as Sony has a partnership for exclsuive/timed DLC for Destiny. You bet activision is going to push Destiny hard, it will not flop. Having SSM's game in the same genre, which has been rumored to be a Sci-Fi FPS too, is a conflict of interest. The game would have been seen as a B rate version of destiny if they revealed it later. This is no one in particular's fault, it was just a victim of circumstance. It just wasn't meant to be.....



staticdash22 said:

So SSM's new IP probably grew a huge budget and the amount of money it would have took to complete the game could have negated their fiscal estimate for game sales. No matter if they completed the game, it likely would not go into the black for a long time. This game sounded very ambitious, which Destiny is also. Ambitious games often have large budgets and Sony decided to stop the bleeding and salvage what they could.

When a game that ambitious fails, with a huge studio like SSM, the only ending that can happen is cuts to the studio. They likely ran into a spot where they had to cut jobs in order to bring the studio's finances back in shape. The amount of money spent and wasted, meant they could not retain some of the higher and best employees. It's a shame, but like I said it seems like it just wasn't meant to be.

What this clearly means, is that Sony is casting a lot of chips into Destiny and they will likely spend $100 million on marketing it. They really believe in Destiny, and playstation will be the definitive home for the game.



rjejr said:

@staticdash22 - I dont have any knowledge of this situation at all, but when I read that title I was thinking Destiny killed it. Well to be honest I forgot the name so I wasn't thinking Destiny killed it but I was thinking that new FPS shooter set in space may have killed it.



N711 said:

@staticdash22 thanks for the link. I never thought about a FPS I was thinking something like Mass Effect 4 but now it makes sense



Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

I love sci fi, I love battlestar Galactica, Santa Monica know what they're doing, ps4 is selling like hot cakes at fat camp. None of this makes any sense. 'resource re allignment' sounds like a load of old crud. PlayStation division at Sony are clearly rolling in money right now but this is stupid. They should be expanding steadily and not amalgamating studios whilst dumping staff. Sony are either lying or just plain stupid. Perhaps its more likely because the game really did suck? Perhaps destiny did kill it. It seems odd though because I assumed destiny was all online and that whatever SM were deving would have been campaign based? Still, I shan't be buying gow in protest.



SuperSilverback said:

With the writer from Battlestar and SSM making the game....i really dont see how it could of been so bad to scrap =/

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