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Sony Santa Monica lays off staff

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The first-party studio known for its work on God of War and collaborations on numerous other Sony games like Journey, The Order:1886, Warhawk and more has confirmed that it’s been subject to a bout of layoffs.

“SCEA can confirm that we have completed a reduction in workforce at Santa Monica Studio. This is a result of a cycle of resource re-alignment against priority growth areas within SCE WWS,” a Sony representative said in a statement to IGN.

“We do not take these decisions lightly. However, sometimes it is necessary to make changes to better serve the future projects of the studio. We have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease transition for those impacted.”

There’s no word on how many people have lost their jobs, but sources say that it has resulted in the cancellation f at least one internal project. While Sony Santa Monica helps other first party and indie developers with their games, they have released just five of their own; Kinetica, God of War, God of War II, God of War III, and God of War: Ascension.

That last one is probably the reason they’re being downsized. God  of War: Ascension told a story nobody wanted to actually hear, and suffered with underperforming sales. God of War: Ascension reportedly sold though just 360,000 copies at launch – far fewer than God of War 3’s 1.1 million.

The studio recently relocated from Santa Monica to Los Angeles, and announced that it was hiring – and recently took God of War 2 director Cory Barlog back on its staff. Odd.

Microsoft’s reached out, and may be picking up a few former Santa Monica devs.

Last Updated: February 26, 2014


  1. Laby

    February 26, 2014 at 13:46

    Man I can feel them when game developers loose their job, it’s a risky field ig you’re product doesn’t sell then it’s going to hit you hard. But I hope they can making something in the future that will be able to bring them back to their feet.


  2. VampyreSquirrel

    February 26, 2014 at 14:03

    Loving the #helpdevs tag, and that it’s getting used, noticed, and bringing jobs to those that are being layed off.


  3. Pieter Kruger

    February 26, 2014 at 16:27

    Go work at MS, they still have money! On a brighter note, God of War 4 was cancelled…..????


    • FoxOneZA

      February 26, 2014 at 16:46

      If there’s one thing MS has done right since the reveal of the Xbox One is to hire devs. Already we have seen the one of the head honcho’s behind God of War jump ship to Crytek to handle script writing and direction.


      • Devin Runyan

        February 27, 2014 at 15:38

        That can be said vice versa. A lot of devs have jumped ship from MS to Sony and most importantly including the principal engineer programmer of Halo joined Sony at Naughty Dog.


  4. JohnnyDavidson

    February 26, 2014 at 20:36

    Not this again…

    An analyst ESTIMATED that God of War: Ascension sold just 360,000 units in the US during the month of March it launched. It was confirmed by a reliable source on Neogaf that it had actually sold 630,000 which is significantly higher. This is still a lot less than God of War III but it’s still a pretty big success.

    So no, it’s not God of War: Ascension’s fault, if it were then they would have laid people off 8-10 months ago.

    I’m guessing they had three projects going on at once, Stig Asmussens new IP on PS4 (safe), Cory Barlogs PS4 game (GoW4, safe) and a small team of 50 people to work on a new IP for the PS Vita. I believe the Vita game got cancelled because of the handhelds consistently poor sales performance.

    That said, we should probably wait for more information before jumping to any conclusions.


    • Ndivhuwo Mogashoa

      February 27, 2014 at 04:55

      You guessed wrong. Stig’s IP is the one that got canned


    • Devin Runyan

      February 27, 2014 at 15:40

      It was confirmed that Stigs new IP (the sci fi game).


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