God of War dev canceled a new IP as part of recent layoffs

Former lead level designer confirms that a mystery new IP probably won't see the light of day.

When Sony announced a round of layoffs at God of War developer Sony Santa Monica on Tuesday, it was reported that one project had been canceled as well. Now, that's been seemingly confirmed, as former lead level designer Jonathan Hawkins explained in a series of tweets that a mystery new IP is no longer in the works, though he can't comment more on it.

"Yesterday, I was laid off. It was a good 10 year run & I got to make three 90+ games. I lived the dream & got to accomplish all of my goals. Except one… making something out of nothing & creating a new AAA IP," Hawkins said on Twitter.

"The saddest part of waking up today is I no longer get to work with my family. Secondly, the pain that I feel for my friends who have lost their jobs," he added. "The saddest & most important part is the game I was creating for the player that will never be played. I'm sorry that I've failed you."

This new IP was supposedly the brainchild of Stig Asmussen, who served as game director for God of War III. We don't know much more about it, unfortunately, but Hawkins said it had been in development since God of War III, which launched in 2010. He also didn't see the layoffs coming, as he noted, "We were surprised too."

With the new IP canceled, what is Sony Santa Monica working on? In addition to supporting Ready at Dawn's PlayStation 4-exclusive The Order: 1886, the studio is also working on a mystery project led by veteran designer Cory Barlog that is described only as "freaking huge."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

110 comments
je29836
je29836

gow 3 and ascension sucked so go figure. maybe barlog can bring the studio back from mediocrity with his new game

obsequies
obsequies

so what was it then if its canceled...

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Sucks that these folk lost their jobs and sucks that we won't have a new IP. As much as I like the God of War series, it needs a long rest while some fresh material gets pushed into the spotlight. 

Marky360
Marky360

Man this sucks sounds like what ever they were working on could have been badass. Would have liked to seen it Sony's exclusives are always interesting weather there my type of game or not.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

So the studio puts nearly four years work into a new game and Sony decide it's not worth it? How much more development could it have needed?

I'm very interested to see what Barlog's team is working on though.

naki68er
naki68er

lol Sony selling it's PC line, close 20 stores 1,000 employees will get fired, and now this Sony is doing good :) lmfao

onixevil
onixevil

More than 100 games coming to ps4 this year .Shut up $ony!. I lost my ego. I shall consider buying the Xbox earlier than what I've planed. 

tom2750
tom2750

why the fuck do games even get cancelled especially one that had been developed for 4 years you spend all that money for 4 years then you don't make a cent back from it because you don't release the game where is the logic in that? it probably only had a year left of development if that wouldn't it make sense to release the game then make hundreds of millions of dollars from it then lay them off i really hope they resume development of this title if they don't well look on the bright side there is still another Sony Santa Monica game being developed

rheaburton
rheaburton

Shame such a good studio, gow3 amazed me .. Guessing no proper vita version :(

Bellum_Sacrum
Bellum_Sacrum

It was obviously a PS3 title and judging by the fact it wasn't announced. it was still in the concept phase. Still by cancelling it, Sony obviously lost all the money that went into it so it can't have been an easy decision.

anshanlord
anshanlord

Wow! they canned senior execs at studio too? I thought they only got rid of small time guys...

RiKanKiDD
RiKanKiDD

Pokemon is better than God of War

k41m
k41m

Thank God this didn't have an impact on The Order.

Garm31
Garm31

The new IP was cancelled? That's SAD!... OK now, get back to God of War 4, you creative and technical geniuses.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

Must have really sucked for Sony to cancel it outright.

SSM pretty much only has the God of War series under their belt.

ADO300
ADO300

as much as it sounds bad that they actually canceled a brand new IP, why in the damn **** isn't sony working on MediEvil 2 remake for the Vita & MediEvil 3 for the ps4!? why the hell is taking them so damn long to finnish the trilogy!!!

Fabian85
Fabian85

Im happy because i dont like sony. Layoffs and cancelled games is a clear indication they are struggling to make profit.

saturn004
saturn004

Maybe the game was stuck in development hell? Sony must have learned from The Last Guardian. It's not a good news but they must know what they are doing.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

So no more socom or gow? Only naughty dog and guerilla for their 1st party aaa. Sony as a company is garbage, if it went bankrupt I wouldn't miss it

djentmaven
djentmaven

Heres the deal, I do feel bad for those guys and would have loved a new IP. That being said the only reason Sony would put a stop to it is if the project was failing. The game must have not inspired confidence in Sony. First party get alot of freedom but they also have to deliver. Mu guess is the new IP was not up to par. Corey Balrog is prolly working on a new GOW. Maybe open world or something. 

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

....So?  Kinda hard to be sad when we have no idea what we are missing.


For all we know the game sucked and that's why it was cancelled.

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

Nooooooooooooo! F*cking hell this was my biggest concern. I know the layoff are terrible, but I was hoping no project would be affected. To hear one of their new IP's is cancelled is saddening... Such talented studio...

AM-Gamer
AM-Gamer

@je29836 GOW 3 sold over 5 million copies and had a score of 9++, Ascension while hardly original was still a great title.  So please STFU as you don't seem to know the definition of mediocrity. 

hystavito
hystavito

@tom2750  Abandoning something that you spent a lot of money on actually happens a lot with big businesses.  Outside of gaming, there are some insanely large amounts of money that have been thrown away on massive projects, even ones where they actually build something like a factory or power plant and then never use it.


Of course the difference with games is that the IP and probably a lot more of the work can someday be re-used.

C_A_G_E
C_A_G_E

@tom2750  

There are lot's of reasons it could have been cancelled. Just to name a few


Lack of quality / Inability to reach Milestones

Original design, all though a good idea did not translate well into a game

Outside environmental factors like another similar game getting announced that looks better or more advanced then the internal project

Internal politics 

Lack of funds to see project to completion


The IP is owned by Sony, so i doubt any development will go into this new IP for a while. 




magx
magx

@tom2750  A variety of reasons. The money allocated to the project might have run out. Maybe the quality was not up to par. Or it was a niche genre game. Or a combination of the above. Maybe something else entirely. 

Marky360
Marky360

RiKanKiDD

Thats not a fair comparison though as Pokemon is better then a lot of things LOL.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@k41m  It probably wouldn't do much since The Order is being developed by Ready At Dawn with some from Sony Santa Monica helping out.

Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@Garm31  does anyone even want another gow game? i think part 3 ended really well. i didn't even bother with ascension because it looked like another by the numbers entry without the inspiration it once had. loved the trilogy, but i feel like it has nowhere else to go at this point. 

Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@HowlPendragon  yea pretty much. they have "collaborated" on a ton of smaller games such as journey, flower, unfinished swan, sound shapes and the like.. but in terms of full internal development, the only other title they worked on is kinetica back on the ps2. 

k41m
k41m

@ADO300  You liked the PSX game MediEvil as well? I loved that game.

tarp_master
tarp_master

@Fabian85 Pretty sure you'd be tooting a different horn if this was one of Microsoft's studio.


People losing their job regardless of who they work for is nothing to be happy about.

je29836
je29836

it's my opinion dipshit. you can take yours and shove it up your ass lol

Marky360
Marky360

PlatinumPaladin

Digimon tried to be better then Pokemon unfortunately it could not pull it off and Pokemon remained with the title of best thing ever.

Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@HowlPendragon @k41m  also the order is a mere 6 months away from completion. it is too late in the game to pull the plug. i really do hope the order turns out well though... i feel a bit underwhelmed by the gameplay footage they showed last week. 

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@Xristophoros @Garm31  I certainly think the series has somewhere to go even now, but for some reason they insist in not taking it in any other direction.

M3o5nster
M3o5nster

@Xristophoros @Garm31TBH I wouldn't mind seeing a God of War 3 (not Ascension) quality game on PS4... Imagine how many guts will be spilt!

koospetoors
koospetoors

@k41m @ADO300  It would actually be awesome to see that game return, man that was great fun back in the day.

ADO300
ADO300

@k41m @ADO300  liked it? dude i loved it! MediEvil 1&2 are still my #1 favourite games of all time, after so many years! i became a gamer because of those 2 games & it made me a sony supporter still to this day. MediEvil : ressurection is my #1 psp game as well so yes you could pretty much say that i'm obsessed with it :D

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@k41m @ADO300If Earthbound on Wii U's VC taught me anything, its to not give up hope on things and be patient.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@tarp_master I was directly referring to the layoffs in this case.

For someone to be happy about people losing their jobs is idiocy of an entirely different variety than mine.

Fabian85
Fabian85

Wouldnt care. Now they can produce good games on a good platform like the pc. Might lead to something better being put on the market. This exclusive game making should fail and im happy to see it.

Fabian85
Fabian85

And then there is this area betweens peoples arses thats also suitable description for you?

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@Marky360  Please..... Talk to me when Pokemon even attempts to change the formula or brings out a game that lets you clean up poop. :-P

ADO300
ADO300

@koospetoors i agree 100%! amen to that!

ADO300
ADO300

@Jinzo_111887 @k41m @ADO300  hmmm i think that's a different story, sure it took a European release of 20 damn years, but yeah it was worth the wait, it was an amazing experiance to play it all the way through no doubt... but please understand i bought ps2, ps3 & soon i will buy ps4 hoping that one day i will see MediEvil 3 in my videogame collection, i bought a psp as soon as i heard that MediEvil: ressurection ( the remake of the first MediEvil ) exsisted, so ofcourse i bought the vita because i thought that there will be a remake of the second as well since the original sequel isn't released on the EU psn store, but it's not... after waiting for 14 years and spending my precious money i never got to see the release of MediEvil 3 or the remake of the second one, so i have all the excuse in the world to lose my patience about it, but i never lost my hope because sony can't ignore the fact that the majority of people that played MediEvil 1&2 liked it, so ofcourse it makes sense that people want MediEvil 3, why can't they just make it for once? i have no idea what's taking them for so long...

Fabian85
Fabian85

They have 10 years experience most likely they will move on to bigger and better things. If you work you know how the experience ladder goes. Never said i was happy with people facing hardship so dont misquote what im saying. Just not work with sony thats all.