God of War Studio Sony Santa Monica Sees Lay-Offs

By Ishaan . February 25, 2014 . 10:55pm

Sony Computer Entertainment America have conducted lay-offs at their Santa Monica studio, responsible for developing the God of War series of games, according to an IGN report.


According to “reliable sources,” IGN say, one of the projects the studio was working on has purportedly been cancelled as well. While Sony haven’t confirmed the project cancellation, they have confirmed the lay-offs.


“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,” the company said in a statement provided 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.”


Santa Monica’s last project was God of War: Ascension, although a number of staff at the studio have also overseen games like Hohokum, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and worked provided support to developers such as thatgamecompany (Journey), Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan) and others.

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  • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

    Oh that’s unfortunate/

  • malek86

    I wonder what they were working on. Sometimes these cancelled projects resurface a few years later in the form of design documents.

  • PreyMantis

    That’s unfortunate. Does this also indicate that Nintendo is in the better footing since they’re hiring more people?

  • Göran Isacson

    Aw man, can’t say I’m surprised considering their latest games (Ascension and Battle All Stars) didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but still a pity: these are competent folks and it’s sad to see them downsize. Though considering how much the’ve supervised smaller titles lately… maybe the people being let go can just form a new group and do thatgamecompany-esque games? I’d buy that.

  • NintendoPSXTheSecond

    It’s funny when people claim Nintendo’s doomed yet Sony and Microsoft are the ones who have been in the red for years now.

    • Tom_Phoenix

      Nintendo legitimately is in trouble (after all, unlike with Sony and Microsoft, gaming is their only business), but it’s still hilarious how people talk about Nintendo ceasing to be a hardware manufacturer when investors are pressuring Microsoft to exit the home console business.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Well that’s why they have insane cash reserves. 10 billion in that, plus their money in circulation and assets they own.

        So they can decide their own future

  • DanielGearSolid


  • xPhoenixMoon

    It’s funny when people feel the need to compare Nintendo to the two. Iwata has made it clear he will fire no one, even if the company seriously needed it which obviously it does right now. So that doesn’t put Nintendo in any better position it simply just means Iwata never makes lay offs.

    From a business perspective I cannot say that is sound, in business, there comes a time when people just have to be fired especially when staff becomes unnecessary there is no reason keeping them around just for morale sake when in the end it won’t help anyone, paying staff that really are not needed is not going to ensure a better future for the company, just waste more money for it.

    Yes it is tough, yes lay offs suck but that is business, these people working are well aware that one day they just might not be needed anymore. It happens all the time and as technology becomes more automated, it will only get worse.

    • Guest

      Why would Nintendo need to fire people according to you?

      • xPhoenixMoon

        Seriously I have to answer that with the shape the Wii U is in? It does not take a neurological brain surgeon to figure out the company is hurting badly right now due to the Wii U.

        As mentioned before which is a very good point Sony and Microsoft could lose both Xbox and Playstation and still exist because they have more than just gaming to live off of. Nintendo is strictly gaming right now and that is their main stay for cash revenue. The 3DS is doing incredible but at the same time the Wii U is really counter productive in that sense.

        I am not one of the people saying, oh the Wii U will fail or oh Nintendo needs to go all software but the Wii U is really hitting their pockets hard at the moment, the sales are abysmal, worse than any new system selling currently. To ignore that is just ridiculous and I say this because it is literally straight from Iwata’s mouth that this situation exists and that he has responded by saying he will make no lay offs regardless in light of it.

        A simple google search will tell you that It isn’t according to me, it’s according to Nintendo’s own president. I am simply saying it is a stupid comparison to act like Microsoft or Sony are in any worse shape when they all have their own problems right now.

        I don’t know why people are always so defensive over companies especially when it comes to admitting they are suffering losses, you honestly should not even have to ask me “Why would Nintendo need to fire people according to you?”.

        Sony has the Vita (which has been doing a little better but I am sure they are still losing money on it) Microsoft isn’t selling the Xbox One like they had hoped and could possibly even sell off the division with their new leader taking reigns who’s history has been nothing other than selling off companies. Then there is Nintendo’s new flagship console that is barely selling any units every month even with the release of new software.

        Some could say the console industry is dying, whatever, fact just stands that these companies all have problems to overcome and they all have a product that isn’t doing as well as they had hoped. A product that is actually costing them money to keep around not making them money in return.

        So again it is just stupid to say “Oh well looks like Nintendo is not having problems after all because they are not firing anyone.”

        • ronin4life

          WiiU being in bad shape won’t hurt them forever. They could be profitable again by next year: So layoffs would have been a mistake.

          The fact they were planning on hiring, hit this snag and are STILL hiring shows how little trouble they are in: The media os blowing their troubles WAY out of proportion. They are in NO danger whatsoever.

          MS as a whole IS in many ways, and in Gaming has members wanting to save the ship by sinking Xbox. Sony as a whole IS, and in Gaming still has yet to recover from PS3 and the still flailing Vita, so they have been conducting layoffs and studio closures since ~2007.

        • Guest

          But that isn’t fault of the lower employees.

          There are problems and so Iwata assumed responsibility cutting his pay check, and probably most of the higher-ups not receiving the money they used to. But laying off the development staff they have been nurturing with their game philosophy for so long as if they were expendable items, looks like a bad move.

          And I was legitimately asking a question, due lack of inflection it might have sounded harsh but you don’t need to get so worked up.

        • BlueTree

          You’re pretty much spouting conjecture if you want to start talking about sound business decisions for Nintendo without being able to present exact, specific data about their actual financial numbers. Your word about “It’s bad business not to fire employees” might hold true, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Nintendo is completely incapable of weathering their current situation.

          “But all Nintendo has is gaming” does not address the issue on the table, which is, why exactly is it imperative that Nintendo start firing people.

          “It’s good business” is pretty daft if you don’t have “exact numbers” and “not speculation” to present to the argument. It’s a fucking joke to toy around with the idea of firing people just for some theorycraft notion of “protecting the financial books” that YOU don’t even have access to. This isn’t a fucking video game.

      • NeptuniasBeard

        Because by naysayer’s logic, Nintendo only has the WiiU going for it. The 3DS sales apparently don’t matter, all the money from the 7th gen is gone, and Nintendo sure doesn’t practically own Pokemon, which is worth a boatload and a half on its own

  • MrRobbyM

    That sucks but it doesn’t always mean things are going bad. Sometimes it’s just getting rid of extra baggage you don’t need.

    • ronin4life

      True(not that this is a good way to talk about people being out of work, but this is true), and is obviously a part of restructuring for a hopefully better future.

      … but this isn’t at all isolated. By your logic, VERY large chunks of Sony these last several years including whole studios would be “Excess baggage”… which doesn’t make sense.

      There is a point were that ceases to be true, and obviously Sony have crossed that by now. They have been firing people annually for years. Things aren’t good here at all.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Scrapping a new ip you were working on to be revealed at e3 seems like an alright place to start hitting the panic button

      • MrRobbyM

        Was that confirmed? For all that we know Sony didn’t think this new IP was worth it so they scrapped it and saved themselves any further expense resulting in letting a few people go. Just a guess.

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          Sony confirmed it themselves

  • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

    Why the hell have all the comments turned into a discussion about Nintendo? Come on people these people who lost their jobs need your spirit energy.



    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      It is not suprising. Every Sony bad news must always drag Nintendo too. it is the law of nature lol.^_^

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        I swear Nintendo makes more money for people with their name plastered all over the news than they make for themselves these days XD

        People are addicted to news about them and its really really fucking weird.

        • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

          Well,Nintendo has always did their own taking like from the old old times so it is not surprising that they are actually loved by many and of course also hated by many here.

          So their news is almost 100% sure to brought tons of view.

          Well, i just see that even though many hated Nintendo, there are still tons of their lovers too.^_^

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Some people just want to watch the world burn

  • NeptuniasBeard

    Taken from IGN’s featured comment:

    “First they came for EA Salt Lake, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Sim.

    Then they came for 2K Games, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Big Daddy.

    Then they came for Disney Interactive, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a cartoon.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    – Kratos

  • Audie Bakerson

    Releasing 7 games and THREE collections in an 8 year period isn’t a sustainable business model. Who knew?

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