Sony has provided the following statement to JuJu2Cast, confirming what I Mr. Mike Has Been Told By The Net:
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. 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.
Sony Santa Monica has released five games in its history -- Kinetica, God of War, God of War II, God of War III, and God of War: Ascension -- although it also has a significant presence in Sony's second party development ecosystem. Thatgamecompany (Flow, Flower, Journey), Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan), and Fun Bits (Fat Princess, Escape Plan) are just a few of the developers that got their start working alongside Sony Santa Monica.
More recently, SuperBot created PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale with the help of Sony Santa Monica, and games like Hohokum are currently under development with the help of Santa Monica-based producers.
However, all has not been well at Sony Santa Monica, specifically when it comes to God of War: Ascension. The God of War trilogy that came before it sold prolifically, but word was that God of War: Ascension underperformed "significantly" when it launched early in 2013. The studio moved on to something else after finishing its DLC support for the game, though that didn't stop long-time Sony Santa Monica employee and director of Ascension, Todd Papy, from leaving the studio.
Strangely, Sony Santa Monica recently moved offices while noting that it was hiring and expanding its workforce. The most notable recent addition to the staff was none other than Cory Balrog, co-creator of God of War, who returned to the studio after a six year absence.
All thoughts and hopes go out to all parties involved in being let go and in hope to get new jobs elsewhere, maybe even New indi games?.....
This is the second studio laying off employees in the gaming world!