God of War III Creative Director Leaves Sony Santa Monica

By Ishaan . March 19, 2014 . 12:58am

God of War III director Stig Asmussen has left Sony Computer Entertainment’s Santa Monica Studio, IGN reports. Asmussen’s departure follows in the wake of a recent round of lay-offs at the studio.


Stig Asmussen worked on the God of War franchise in a number of capacities, starting out as an environment artist in the first game. He went on to serve as Art Director for God of War II, and was finally promoted to Creative Director for the third game.


Asmussen did not, however, work on God of War: Ascension, and was purportedly working on a separate project that may have been cancelled during the recent Santa Monica lay-offs. Whether or not his departure was his own decision or part of the lay-offs is unknown.


God of War: Ascension was, instead, directed by Todd Papy, who left Sony to join Crytek late last year.

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  • stephane3012

    What’s up with people leaving left and right in the gaming industry lately?

    • 6810

      Own a smart phone? That’s the reason. Thank them for the death of the console, reduced revenue and profit based on super intense yet super sort attention spans.

      In other words, welcome to the future.

      • GH56734

        The 1983 shit flood was NOT the future.

      • Servant BerserCAR

        Can’t deny the fact that smart phone games more profitable (read: cost efficient), but I refuse to believe that the console is dead.

        The day when console games died is the day when I live on the surface of Mars, killing zombies.

      • OneOkami

        The game industry is volatile and its history of turnover has been documented LONG before the rise of smartphones. What is happening now has been happening for years and I believe will continue to happen for years. Blaming smartphones is a lame excuse.

        • Pyrofrost

          >>Blaming smartphones is a lame excuse.

          Agreed! There is really nothing else to say here.

      • Xaxal_Ravenguard

        Honestly? No. In fact, numerous mobile devs have already been discussing a decline in mobile gaming due to how anemic the market is (90% is only driven by 1-5% of the developers/publishers who take part in it. 15% of mobile consumers comprise 85% of the revenue).

        It’s a ticking time-bomb, and a lot of devs are realizing that, jumping on the PC train or even deciding that the only viable option now is to put your game on EVERYTHING.

        IMO, Smartphones have not completely killed off anything, except for PDAs.

      • MrJechgo

        Sorry, but iPhone games are the current-gen versions of Atari 2600 games: you have shiny new graphics… but the main goal to simply to get a high score and brag about it.

        Sure, there are ports of good genuine hardcore games, but they’re few and far between.

        • Satori Satya

          I’m not a fan of mobile games but you’re being way too reductive in how you describe said games.

          Many people also play those games for the same reasons anyone else will play a game: for fun.

          And BTW, you could also say that many people play console games to brag about their achievements and trophies and little else.

          • MrJechgo

            From Atari 2600 to next-gen consoles, there has been an evolution in gameplay and how games are meant to be played.

            Mobile games say “screw that” and make cheap cash-ins with little to no gameplay. There’s HARDLY any gaming skill involved now; all you do and rub the screen like a maniac.

            Games like Temple Run, Angry Birds and Flappy Bird could have been something that you could have seen on Atari and/or Tiger Electronics.

            BTW, achievements and trophies are less irritating than Facebook alerts that your friends got high scores on said mobile shovelwares.

          • Satori Satya

            Getting high scores even on mobile games actually require some amount of skills. Even if its just “rubbin’ the screen like a maniac”. Which again, is a reductive way of describing how the games are played.

            And again, achievements and trophies braggin’ is just as irritating as any sort of bragging. Regardless of platform. Thing is, it happens on hardcor3z consoles too.

            What you say about mobile games can (and has) been said about console gamers too. That they play like maniacs with barely any skills involved (button smashing is a thing on consoles).

          • M’iau M’iaut

            As the previous poster noted, those games can also be described as just how another person chooses to play and have fun. Please stop deciding that how games evolve and ‘must’ be played for you describes what everyone else would say.

            And let’s please move on if we can’t move back to the article’s topic.

      • I don’t think it’s smartphones in this particular case. While that has been the case in some incidents, the consensus on this seems to be that Stig left during/around the lay-offs and the reported project cancellation. While this is in no way confirmed, it could very well be that he simply left because they canned his project.

      • Atwa

        That is simply not true, look at PS4. Record breaking sales. Smart phone gaming on the other hand is going down, you don’t make money off that. This is something completely different, people want to do different things.

    • MrJechgo

      I’m going to go on a limb and say that the video game industry shifted from “making games” to “making money”. In short, creators, mostly producers and directors, are now pushed to their limits in shoving “quality” games in shorter amounts of time, because the costs are skyrocketed. You have a choice: stick with companies that exploit you… or strike on your own at your own pace.

      Y ou know studios like Blizzard and Rockstar which can take their sweet time and/or get insane sums of money for their games? Those have become the exceptions rather than the rule.

    • NintendoPSXTheSecond

      Seems like it’s Nintendo who can only hold onto it’s developer’s these days. Sheesh.

      • Testsubject909

        Now I’m curious to know how long of a list of notable directors can people list who’re directly under Nintendo’s employ.

      • PreyMantis

        Why wouldn’t they? They’re the only ones making money…

    • Testsubject909

      Most of them seem to be for business reasons. They’re not leaving the gaming industry, just relocating to a different area of the gaming industry.

      Whether it’s to hit it up on the more casual market or to make their own independent studios.

    • fairysun

      It’s not recent. Developers have moved every now and then. It’s just the information/media is more accessible these days and gaming has started becoming mainstream, so we can hear it first hand.

    • 罪罰

      Change is the future.

  • Pyrofrost

    Well it’s not like this is a serious loss. I mean, he is no David Jaffe~
    But, this on top of James Griesemer; and lets not forget Amy Hennig a couple of weeks ago.

    Looks like Sony is really cleaning house.

    • Oh man, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Jaffe, Cory Barlog and Stig were some of the most talented people Sony had. Go watch the behind-the-scenes stuff for God of War 2 and 3. Stig was a real trooper.

      • Pyrofrost

        I’m just personally not a fan of his work with GoW 3, I can’t exactly be faulted for that. I mean, if people loved it and love his work, that’s all well and good. Everyone has a preference.
        I just think he was better in his previous roles, than the role he had for the 3rd game.

        • Well, to be fair, it’s also kind of hard to keep innovating by the time you get to the third (or in this case, fifth, counting the PSP games) in a trilogy. I just meant that, just because you aren’t fond of his work, it doesn’t make Stig any less talented. God of War wouldn’t be what it is without his involvement.

      • xavier axol

        differences of opinion, I could argue that ueda, neil, and henning are just as talented if not better. while god of war was a critical success in sales, it felt short in innovation and performance. just take a look at shadow of the colossus and uncharted, but then again we are lucky enough to live at a time and place in this industry were there’s no shortage of talented people.

        no matter how talented one person can be (even as a director), there’s only so much they can do at a project that now have hundreds of people. I would said that a game with a mass critical success can be achieve by not just one person with a vision, but a whole bunch of talented people who’re comfortable and willing to collaborated with each other in an stress free environment. I remember how people were all saying that now since Jason Rubenstein left naughty dog, that the studio was not gonna be as successful as it is today.

        and lastly, I don’t see sony in trouble just because of a few great and amazing talented people left. though I would like to share a video on how naughty dog stays competitive with other talented studios. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8XdvIO8JxE

        • …why do you immediately fire up the Sony Defense Cannons every single time someone even attempts to discuss anything Sony-related. No one said anything about them being in trouble.

          For god’s sake, relax. I swear to god, some of you people need to take a step back from the console war nonsense.

          • Satori Satya

            Well, this happens every time we start a new generation of consoles. People are more touchy than usual.

            Can’t blame them too much for that. Some of them invested a small fortune in a new console, peripherals and games after all.

            I guess people would be a bit defensive when they see stuff like this happen.

          • ..except, he’s been doing it for two years now.

          • Satori Satya

            Maybe he’s a Vita fan then.

            PS VIta’s are not exactly cheap when you factor everything up. Especially those proprietary cards. ;)

  • Xaxal_Ravenguard

    So, have ALL of the past God of War directors left already?

  • Lelouch Vi Britannia

    I just Hope that Hideo Baba producer of the Namco Tales series NEVER leaves Namco Bandai, and the same goes with Tetsuya Nomura of Square-Enix.

  • The_Superior_Spider-Mon

    Does the God of War series always get a new director every time a new in the series release?

  • So where to now, Google, Amazon, Apple or Valve? Or maybe they want to part of the VR thing.

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