Sony comments on God of War dev layoffs and what they mean for the studio

“Not every title can be a success.”

Sony has said that the recent layoffs at God of War developer Sony Santa Monica is the result of a high profile project and the studio in general needing a “reboot.”

Speaking with IGN, head of internal software development for the PlayStation brand Scott Rohde didn't say what projects the studio is still working on, only that “sometimes, a project needs a reboot. So that’s what we’re doing overall with the titles we’re working on there, and the studio itself.”

Rhode again did not confirm that any in-development game had been canceled, but said that “There’s not a single business on the planet where every single project that is started is a success.”

Rhode confirmed that even after the layoffs, the studio still employs around 200 people.

As to when and what we’ll see from Santa Monica next, Rhode said we’ll just have to be patient and wait.

The studio opened in 1999 and rose to prominence after creating the original God of War. The last game the studio launched was God of War: Ascension. We know that it is currently collaborating with developer Ready at Dawn on the PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

89 comments
GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

Trimming the fat is something that the industry needs to do more of if they want to continue to attain success; Sony made a good but tough decision here.

d34dly_m3t4l
d34dly_m3t4l

wish they were doing 60 fps instead of 30 fps!

Karlinel
Karlinel

It seems to me that most studios are getting just massive in size, and the costs of having a studio of around 300people forces them into doing the same thing that gave them their first success...its not healthy in a creative industry.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"As to when and what we’ll see from Santa Monica next, Rhode said we’ll just have to be patient and wait" I'm sure that everyone here will follow that advice and not resort to meaningless speculation and arguing as well as misinterpreting and overblow any shred of info or "leak" about them.

banilvarma
banilvarma

I think studios should realize and follow the foot steps of Rockstar games ...... releasing games frequently is not the point making sure they are the best in their class is important... If studios feel that things are not meeting to the requirement then create a R&D division and let veterans continue to innovate.... will be missing some greats devs from Santa :(

GrenadeLauncher
GrenadeLauncher

About time publishers started reining in their budgets. After the commercial failures that were Ryse, Bioshock Infinite and LA Noire and Tomb Raider taking a year to meet expectations, I expect this to start happening across more studios this year.

nparks
nparks

Sony:  so many people are buying PS4 with no games out there that we realized that the games don't really matter, so we're going to stop investing in software and new IPs and just double-down on PR instead.

EdAl2112
EdAl2112

Yeah, remember when you decided to follow that rapidly passing fad of shoving multiplayer on games that don't need it and not pay enough attention to the single player aspect therefore becoming "meh"? This is what happens. Glad to see you seem to be learning your lesson with The Order.

SpLiTMaN
SpLiTMaN

yea yea last time herd reboot on a game i liked devil may cry died....god damn i miss dante!!!!!

genoweaver
genoweaver

I just love how people want some kind of change to GOW. Leave the game alone. Move on to new IPs. God of War doesn't need a reboot. Like The Order 1886. Just stay focused on the new IPs. Cause at this moment The Order is looking pretty sweet.

deadpen
deadpen

And people are talking about nintendo going down the drain LOL.

kutulu1
kutulu1

They need to make GOW an open world ARPG, maybe even fix it so you can choose your gender Bioware style.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

So as suspected, the title was a money sink that had really no chance of being successful.  Sometimes you just pull the plug.

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

Ascension is the second worst God of War game I've ever played. Beautiful graphics couldn't save its shallow combat mechanics. 


How can you make such improvement in III then end with this? Multiplayer focus that's why!


I hope the studio moves onto other IPs, they clearly have different ideas that no longer blend well with making GoW better. The layoffs are a downer though, talented studio. But they've lost a touch of what made them great.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

God of War: Norse Mythology! You heard it here first!  D:

dipdish
dipdish

I could almost swear that I read the last three comments somewhere else before. Weird. = )

PS4Lives
PS4Lives

GOW franchise for $ony worth more that the peoples who made it.

JtheGrind
JtheGrind

I don't believe what he's saying at all...these companies rather say they had to make cuts because special projects, rather than say they are losing money as a company. Companies like these only keep you on their staff for so long.

DaRq_MiNoS
DaRq_MiNoS

If the rumors are true that Sony got the rights to Crash back and plan to announce it this month, maybe they had Santa Monica drop what they're doing to work on Crash.

anshanlord
anshanlord

What if there was a New God of war.....but based in somewhere outside of Greece....Perhaps Scandinavia? :-?

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

Yeah, what an amazing place to be employed.

Oh, wait. Sorry guys. :o(

hyksiu
hyksiu

I hope that it wasnt a good project.

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

I am not a big action guy, but definitely gonna play God of War 3 when PlayStationNow starts up

MegaPhilX2
MegaPhilX2

@SpLiTMaN  
Yeah, a new franchise is way better than a reboot. Reboots divide the fan-base and have the potential to ruin a  franchise. : P

Lhomity
Lhomity

@SpLiTMaN That's too bad. I thought DMC was by far the best one yet.

23Jarek23
23Jarek23

@kutulu1  They need to kill it or completely reboot it, Ascension was boring as hell. No more Kratos, new mythology, new combat, everything. Open world would be great but I don't see it working with the current GoW format...and by current I mean the past 10 years because hardly anything has changed. 

charlesswann
charlesswann

@JtheGrind  you realize this is how gossip starts, speculating out your arsehole.

denhoffi
denhoffi

@DaRq_MiNoS Ok first of all I really hope that they bought Crash back, but if they did, I don't think they would give it to Santa Monica, that just isn't their kind of game. Maybe back to Naughty Dog (they created Crash) or I could see them giving it to Media Molecule or Sony Bend.

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@anshanlord  As cool an idea that is I would hope it's a different franchise. 


Next GoW game should have Apollo in it :)

Def-Trex
Def-Trex

@anshanlord Ancient sumarians would be awesome.You could have the Alien Annunaki race and all that.

ahpuck
ahpuck

@anshanlord How about they just can Kratos for at least the next decade? The first two were amazing experiences, the middle ones where great, the last two have been good and kinda meh.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@anshanlord  Or ancient Iberia? They could introduce the many lesser known Celtic gods and mythology to a console audience. Scandinavia is cool and all but has been done before. 

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@eternal_napalm  I'd have to agree with both Def-Trex and Spartan-1657. The first chapter or so is very quick-time heavy, but the game that follows is easily the best experience of the entire series.

Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

@eternal_napalm  Don't listen to Def-Trex. God of War 3 is by far the best in the series. The others were incredible as well, but the third one is just beyond. They didn't ruin anything with QTE's in number 3.

Def-Trex
Def-Trex

@eternal_napalm They kind of ruined it with too many quick time events.The first 2 hours of the game are nothing but quick time events.play the first 2 GOW games they are better and not so many quick time events.

merimack
merimack

Yeah I really enjoyed DMC. Loved the old games too. I don't really get all the hate circling around it. It's just a new take on an old franchrise. And a well done one at that.

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@ahpuck @anshanlord  God of War III over all others.

The combat mechanics is the finest the series ever had. 


2's best feature was being the longest. & pacing variety. 1 had the best story.


I also liked Ghost of Sparta (Ready at Dawn) which in my view took the best parts from 2 and made a better, if just shorter story. With improved combat.


III did have a terrible plot, probably the worst, but I favour it for having reasonably decent combat over every other game in the series. Followed by Ghost.


Chains and Ascension being the forgettable games.

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@Spartan-1657 A fellow III fan!

Yes it's Kratos best game in my view. Even if the story did stink to high heaven xD

PS4Lives
PS4Lives

@Def-Trex @eternal_napalm  How many moves and weapons did you unlock ?I won't spoil the game to you but you need to kill more enemies to upgrade the moves. This is completely different than casual QTE games when they give you all the moves when you carry the weapon.   

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@MegaPhilX2 Main reason is simple, other than names the whole game had little in common with what DMC3 & 4 improved upon.


It played like a successor to Heavenly Sword, not DMC4!


A good action game DmC is, no doubt. But it's soft and weak. Very forgiving and lacks the depth found in the best the series offered. DMC is ment to be hardcore and relentless, story being the least focused source.


DmC was all about story, and just wasn't the most in-depth combat system I've come across. Even on Dante Must Die almost anyone can finish DmC.


@Lhomity In all respect, if you like it more that's great. However I personally would like a successor to DMC4 in fair due, as I view DMC3 still leagues above any game with Deil May Cry in its name. Not Heavenly Sword 2 in a different skin. Good as it is.

MegaPhilX2
MegaPhilX2

@merimack
There are a variety of reasons people don't like DmC. Without going into too much detail, here are some:
- 30 fps instead of 60. (Makes the combat choppy and is a downgrade from 1,2,3 and 4)
- Dumbed down combat.
- No lock-on.
- Enemies that force you to use a specific weapon. (No Lock-on really becomes a problem at this point And it's simply not the DMC way.)
- Glitchy gameplay (I've had the game crash 2 or 3 times against the first boss.)
- No taunt
- Many unskippable cutscenes - Also, cutscenes interrupt gameplay a lot especially in boss fights
- Style Meter was too easy to raise. (The game hands S-Ranks way too easily)

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@Def-Trex The first two are good adventure games but have below average combat. III and Ghost improved all this for the better. It did sacrifice the story alot though, III I mean :)

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@Thanatos2k Personal opinion >.>


Had the best plot, I'll give you that much.

RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@Def-Trex 1 & 2 are good action games. III was a reasonably decent slasher game. & as a long Njinja Gaiden/ DMC fan I prefer them to focus more on the combat. But to each his or her own :)

Def-Trex
Def-Trex

@PS4Lives I can't remember now but I did beat the game when it was first released.