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IGN: ~50 Layoffs at Sony Santa Monica, Project Canceled [Up2: Was Stig's New IP]

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DarkLordMalik

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The IP (The Order: 1886) belongs to Sony.
The Order: 1886 is going to be a trilogy, according to RAD.
So yes, they have "restricted themselves" to one platform this gen.
Not really. Nothing stops Sony from using SSM to develop a sequel to The Order: 1886 since they own the IP. But i guess RaD will be the one who will develop the sequel as well. Of course, this is all after the game actually manages to sell well and establish itself as a successful IP.
 

Cave Johnson

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He's been raging all day. Leave him be. Or her.

Games have to be made for the console. You can't just scale everything down and go "well now we have a Vita game". The mechanics also need to fit the system. What if it had gameplay mechanics built around analog control via the shoulder buttons? And then the game would have had to be re-engineered completely. The size of the world, art of the characters, complexity of the AI, probably completely new sound assets, trim down animation systems. This game was much too far a long to do all of that. The game had development issues and was cancelled. People no longer had a position to fill, and were let go.

From what I've learned. Game design in general hasn't progressed through the point that it can't be done with a traditional handheld provided it has the power. Borderlands 2 can easily be ported and it's gameplay systems can be the default standard of how flexible the Vita can be. All of Sony's top-tier games can be played on the Vita, from Killzone all the way to Uncharted. In fact, the Vita has a touch-screen that can micro-manage inventory that is more suited for an RPG and such.

Sure, you can argue stuff like size of the world, but what I'm suggesting is that you don't need to render that whole world. You basically take the main core gameplay, use the remaining assets to make a world that fits on the handheld and sell it off. At least we know that those "assets" are somewhat going to be used in one way or another.
 

dragonbane

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It seems like Cory Barlog's team is scaling up, so I don't think this is a case of reducing SSM back to a one game studio.
His team was scaling up. Do you have definitive proof that they are still doing so? Open positions on their website don't mean anything. The decision to cancel the game came fast and quick apparently, so Cory's team wouldn't have a chance to react until now. You don't fire senior staff to then hire new staff. For all we know all positions are now full thanks to the cancellation.


The IP (The Order: 1886) belongs to Sony.
The Order: 1886 is going to be a trilogy, according to RAD.
So yes, they have "restricted themselves" to one platform this gen.
Well, if it manages to be a success. Otherwise it is not going to be anything.
 

ScOULaris

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Let me tell ya, this console gen is off to a great start. Damn this is depressing news. One of the best development teams in the world finally gets to escape GOW's shadow to work on a new IP... AAAAAAAND IT'S GONE.
 

dragonbane

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Just found this nugget in one of my threads. This was from before the news of the cancellation (2 days in fact, Christ):

Had a small chat with Jonathan Hawkins, from SSM. He's the Lead Level Designer on the new IP, and worked on GOW 1,2,3 as well. Asked him about the new IP and why we haven't seen anything from it yet, and he basically said that they're building everything from scratch and it takes a lot to do that and work up from nothing.

Well, seems like EatChildren's sources were accurate. They had to rebuild the game pretty much from scratch, because of x (=Destiny).
 

Ricky_R

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I gotta be honest here... This news sucks for me because I was eager to see what was Stig working on. I thought GOW3 was amazing and I really wanted to see what else he could come up with.

Hope he's still there as a game director and can lead another new IP.
 

Chuck Norris

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His team was scaling up. Do you have definitive proof that they are still doing so? Open positions on their website don't mean anything. The decision to cancel the game came fast and quick apparently, so Cory's team wouldn't have a chance to react until now. You don't fire senior staff to then hire new staff. For all we know all positions are now full thanks to the cancellation.



Well, if it manages to be a success. Otherwise it is not going to be anything.
Well they have been hiring, I don't know if they are fully staffed for whatever they are doing

In any case, getting rid of staff when this project bottomed out doesn't really have anything to do with whether Barlog's team is still scaling up.
 

coldone

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If my sources are correct, here's what probably happened.

- SSM Scifi IP conceptualised and greenlit. Enters production.
- Destiny announced. Unfortunate similarities to new IP (no idea what exactly: genre, presentation, story, design, etc). Sony/SSM not impressed.
- Sony/SSM request reworking the design to distance from Destiny. This naturally increases dev time, workload, and resources.
- Reworking fails. Either conceptually still too similar to Destiny, or (most likely) unable to conceptualise new designs and implement them efficiently. Project and development process suffers.
- Sony/SSM pull the plug on a project that has now gone on for too long, become too expensive, with no real end in sight and/or lack of confidence in a high quality game at the end of the tunnel.
- Decision made to downsize SSM as a whole. God of War 4 still in development (assuming it's not being headed by someone else), as well as aiding other studios on their projects (eg: The Order: 1886, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture).
- Many senior personnel of cut project let go as their positions at SSM no longer needed. Those roles already filled on existing projects. Staff that can move over to the production of existing projects kept.

So from now on, Shu is not going to green flag projects that are similar to other successful franchise. I think it is a good start. No more nintendo wanna bee projects. So many wasted projects like PS-All Stars, PS-Kart, Move/Pets etc.
 

Bundy

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Not really. Nothing stops Sony from using SSM to develop a sequel to The Order: 1886 since they own the IP. But i guess RaD will be the one who will develop the sequel as well. Of course, this is all after the game actually manages to sell well and establish itself as a successful IP.
Really!
Because handing it to SSM is a thing that Shu/Sony would never do.
 

jett

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wow i did not expect that :p
 

dragonbane

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Well they have been hiring, I don't know if they are fully staffed for whatever they are doing

In any case, getting rid of staff when this project bottomed out doesn't really have anything to do with whether Barlog's team is still scaling up.
SSM had more than 50 people working on the new IP. According to EatChildren's sources the rest got moved to GoW, so yes it has directly to do with Cory's team and that they now probably don't need to scale up any longer.


looks like Microsoft is hiring them
Microsoft Hiring Ex-Sony Santa Monica Staff - News
http://www.gamrreview.com/news/91064/microsoft-hiring-ex-sony-santa-monica-staff/
Clickbait. It's just the Spencer tweet. Not confirming anything. They just "engage in hiring", like every other gaming company.
 

DREYDUS

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Oh, snap! Microsoft is smart to not let that talent go to waste.

This I have to agree with. MS after all the dumb moves in the last year & a Half... Suddenly this week they are on fire with the inhouse streaming and now hiring these talented devs.
 

Nightengale

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It's hilarious how the Spencer tweet gets purported as some sort of fact. It's a tweet by Spencer stating that they're reaching out, as are any devs/companies with the intention to hire.
 

Bundy

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This I have to agree with. MS after all the dumb moves in the last year & a Half... Suddenly this week they are on fire with the inhouse streaming and now hiring these talented devs.
...... "on fire"

Better post than what I just tried to write:

It's hilarious how the Spencer tweet gets purported as some sort of fact. It's a tweet by Spencer stating that they're reaching out, as are any devs/companies with the intention to hire.
 

Freeman

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I'm bummed.I wonder if Sony had an idea of how much hype that game was generating already, before we even seen anything. Just the idea of SSM doing an ambitious new IP regardless of what it was going to be is more interesting than GoW4 regardless of how good it will be.

TLoU should have been enough to convince Sony to have confidence on new IPs and on their own studios. Where is the greatness they promised? Is it in a new Uncharted, God of War, Killzone or Infamous? I don't think so.
 

dragonbane

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It's hilarious how the Spencer tweet gets purported as some sort of fact. It's a tweet by Spencer stating that they're reaching out, as are any devs/companies with the intention to hire.
Especially if it comes from well respected sites like gamrreview.com. These poor sites totally don't rely on ad revenue. It's hilarious how the content of the article has nothing to do with the title. He even says so at the end "if they end up at MS or otherwise" LMFAO
Too many gaffers still falling for examiner and co. A shame.
 

StuBurns

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TLoU should have been enough to convince Sony to have confidence on new IPs and on their own studios. Where is the greatness they promised? Is it in a new Uncharted, God of War, Killzone or Infamous? I don't think so.
I don't know why you'd imagine just because TLoU is great, this would be.

Sony obviously had faith enough to fund it for four years, I can't imagine how much longer you feel they were due.
 

Kyoufu

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Well, if it was indeed going to compete with Destiny then it's probably not a bad idea to can the project. It's unfortunate to work on something already being done somewhere else, especially when it's Bungie/Activision.

I wonder what will happen with Stig and Michael Angeli now.
 

nicolajNN

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With what little information we had about the game, I always imagined it was Destiny-esque, of course I didn't think it would end up like this. It's a shame, hopefully Sony has other new exciting ips in the works, and hopefully SSM still has two teams
 

Bundy

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TLoU should have been enough to convince Sony to have confidence on new IPs and on their own studios. Where is the greatness they promised? Is it in a new Uncharted, God of War, Killzone or Infamous? I don't think so.
With the "~50 people layoff" at SCEA Santa Monica,
SCE, at the same time, canceled all new IP's which were in development for the PS4.
Haven't you heard?
 

Nightengale

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I'm bummed.I wonder if Sony had an idea of how much hype that game was generating already, before we even seen anything. Just the idea of SSM doing an ambitious new IP regardless of what it was going to be is more interesting than GoW4 regardless of how good it will be.

And you're overestimating the 'hype' that this game has, imo. As talented and capable as SSM is, Stig was no Amy Hennig or Ken Levine.

TLoU should have been enough to convince Sony to have confidence on new IPs and on their own studios.

And you think Sony aren't following up/checking progress on these games or anything like that?

There was a quote somewhere about TLoU that somewhere near mid-way of full production, Shu was so impressed with the TLoU that he personally stopped digging too deeply into the status/story development of the game, because he was already confident it will deliver, so he just wants to experience it like a fan at that point.... But just because TLoU did it didn't mean Destigny could had done it.

Unlike us, the guys and girls at Sony have actually seen what Stig is working on, and what they saw deemed its cancellation.

Sony's 'confidence' to leave Japan Studio doing whatever they hell they wanted was what led to TLG development hell and 40+ projects.
 

Freeman

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I don't know why you'd imagine just because TLoU is great, this would be.

Sony obviously had faith enough to fund it for four years, I can't imagine how much longer you feel they were due.

Until they put something out? Give them a deadline, it looked like they were caught off guard by the layoffs. Today they have so many option on how to monetize on titles, completely shutting that team down seems terrible.
 

dragonbane

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I'm bummed.I wonder if Sony had an idea of how much hype that game was generating already, before we even seen anything. Just the idea of SSM doing an ambitious new IP regardless of what it was going to be is more interesting than GoW4 regardless of how good it will be.

TLoU should have been enough to convince Sony to have confidence on new IPs and on their own studios. Where is the greatness they promised? Is it in a new Uncharted, God of War, Killzone or Infamous? I don't think so.
They are confident in new IPs and their teams. But SSM failed, so they are back on GoW. Sony gave them 4 years. Other teams are still on new IPs.


With the "~50 people layoff" at SCEA Santa Monica,
SCE, at the same time, canceled all new IP's which were in development for the PS4.
Haven't you heard?
Uhm, I'm pretty sure this is false. Last I heard Yoshida decided to close all studios and moved everyone to Ninja Theory to develop all future exclusives.
 

StuBurns

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Until they put something out? Give them a deadline, it looked like they were caught off guard by the layoffs. Today they have so many option on how to monetize on titles, completely shutting that team down seems terrible.
You don't think they had a deadline? TLoU was out after four years, this was just about to get a teaser out.

It's unfortunate, and I imagine people are always surprised when a major lay-off hits a studio that has notable history, and is in some ways the centerpiece of a first party that's going into a new generation in a firm leadership position, but based on the little we do know, I don't think they should have been surprised by this.

I do think publishers should give their teams a long leash (and Sony certainly does), but not long enough to hang themselves with.
SOE got lucky cause Planetside 2 is also a Destiny clone

But i havent seen any epic 500 players battle in Destiny yet
Destiny is Borderlands with third person 'home-like' hubs, it's nothing like PS2.
 

Nightengale

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Until they put something out? Give them a deadline, it looked like they were caught off guard by the layoffs. Today they have so many option on how to monetize on titles, completely shutting that team down seems terrible.

Obviously something was put out, the difference is that we're not privy to it.
And if they had nothing out after four years, then they deserve to be cancelled anyway.

I think most of us believed that this game was going to be a 2015 release, with it being very far into production already... Seems like that is not the case with all the rumours of the development troubles, and if that's so, that means even if Sony allowed them to continue, it would had been a 2016 title that was still not 'better' or 'different' compared to Destiny.

By the time the game is released, Destiny 2 would already be out. ( or coming soon )
 

DarkLordMalik

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And you're overestimating the 'hype' that this game has, imo. As talented and capable as SSM is, Stig was no Amy Hennig or Ken Levine.
Kind of agree here. Stig delivered it with God of War 3 but beyond that, his career hasn't really taken off much. He was Lead Environment Artist on God of War 1, Art Director on God of War 2, and then ended as Creative Director on God of War 3. For a new ambitious AAA IP, he sure had a lot to prove, and i think Sony realized that the IP was just not so good and canned it. It doesn't mean he is a failure or anything like that, but his efforts should be best utilized elsewhere.

I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
 

DemonNite

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I'm bummed.I wonder if Sony had an idea of how much hype that game was generating already, before we even seen anything. Just the idea of SSM doing an ambitious new IP regardless of what it was going to be is more interesting than GoW4 regardless of how good it will be.

TLoU should have been enough to convince Sony to have confidence on new IPs and on their own studios. Where is the greatness they promised? Is it in a new Uncharted, God of War, Killzone or Infamous? I don't think so.

what?

hype alone does not decide if a game should be completed or not.

If a game isn't working out it's not working out. Releasing a game based on "hype" is suicide and would cause more damage in the long term.

I'm a gamer as well and would love to see games make it through to the end but sometimes I understand why some are canned for business reasons. Everyone using TLOU as an example have to know that something special was seen very early on in development and it paid off. If a project fails to impress after years of work... well.

However, another option for some projects (like Until Dawn) is to give it to another pair of hands with a fresh new look. But I don't see that happening here.
 

boredandlazy

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They are confident in new IPs and their teams. But SSM failed, so they are back on GoW. Sony gave them 4 years. Other teams are still on new IPs.



Uhm, I'm pretty sure this is false. Last I heard Yoshida decided to close all studios and moved everyone to Ninja Theory to develop all future exclusives.
Actually I'm also pretty sure Naughty Dog's next project is The Last of Us 2 for XBOne.
 

geordiemp

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I am sure MS let allot of stuff leak out on purpose, we have leaks about games for next year in some cases and even stuff they are thinking about.

Yet Sony are so tight, we don't know much about drive club or even if Ps4 is getting TLOU ...

Is there nobody that leaks stuff about Sony ?

We have GDC in a few weeks and there is not many whispers other than possibly a VR headset...

We need some gossip
 

Freeman

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Obviously something was put out, the difference is that we're not privy to it.
And if they had nothing out after four years, then they deserve to be cancelled anyway.

I think most of us believed that this game was going to be a 2015 release, with it being very far into production already... Seems like that is not the case with all the rumours of the development troubles, and if that's so, that means even if Sony allowed them to continue, it would had been a 2016 title that was still not 'better' or 'different' compared to Destiny.

By the time the game is released, Destiny 2 would already be out. ( or coming soon )

Ok, sure, you are probably right. Please stop bringing Destiny, its a cross-gen game that hasn't proved anything yet outside the fact that Activision is willing to spend money marketing it.
 

Nightengale

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What I'd like to know is whether or not Stig's IP had them building anything new in terms of tech. Like a new engine, or something like that.
 

geordiemp

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Sony are so tight with their information about future projects and releases....

I still don't know if they are bringing TLOU to Ps4, only leak I have read recently is the PS4 VR headset with hardly any details.

How do Sony manage to be so secretive ?
 

DarkLordMalik

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However, another option for some projects (like Until Dawn) is to give it to another pair of hands with a fresh new look. But I don't see that happening here.
Is it just me or you just confirmed that Until Dawn is being worked on by another developer instead of Supermassive Games?

Sony are so tight with their information about future projects and releases....

I still don't know if they are bringing TLOU to Ps4, only leak I have read recently is the PS4 VR headset with hardly any details.

How do Sony manage to be so secretive ?
They used to show plenty of smoke and mirror teasers, that was back during the PS3 launch. I am glad that they have stopped doing it now. It is better to not show a new project until it is confirmed than to show it and then later kill it.

Still waiting for Agent, The Last Guardian, Eight Days and Getaway :(
 

DemonNite

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Sony are so tight with their information about future projects and releases....

I still don't know if they are bringing TLOU to Ps4, only leak I have read recently is the PS4 VR headset with hardly any details.

How do Sony manage to be so secretive ?



Is it just me or you just confirmed that Until Dawn is being worked on by another developer instead of Supermassive Games?

no, just you :) they were not the original devs
 

dragonbane

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However, another option for some projects (like Until Dawn) is to give it to another pair of hands with a fresh new look. But I don't see that happening here.
Go on. I don't have the time to read the articles right now, could you quickly summarize what is happening with Until Dawn?
 

StuBurns

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Ok, sure, you are probably right. Please stop bringing Destiny, its a cross-gen game that hasn't proved anything yet outside the fact that Activision is willing to spend money marketing it.
Being cross-gen doesn't mean anything.

If you're making an exclusive, and your publisher is co-marketing a huge budget game from a team with the best track record of console first person shooters, you're in a bad situation. Destiny is going to be a colossal hit, there is no question. To match it in scope, but to PS4 exclusive standards, would cost even more, add to that the fact that it would be the team's first console shooter, not their sixth.

All of that is even assuming the game was actually good, which we have no way of knowing.
no, just you :) they were not the original devs
Was the original version the clip of the torch holding game when the Move was revealed?
 

dragonbane

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What I'd like to know is whether or not Stig's IP had them building anything new in terms of tech. Like a new engine, or something like that.
Probably. They can likely use that at least.


what?

hype alone does not decide if a game should be completed or not.

If a game isn't working out it's not working out. Releasing a game based on "hype" is suicide and would cause more damage in the long term.

I'm a gamer as well and would love to see games make it through to the end but sometimes I understand why some are canned for business reasons. Everyone using TLOU as an example have to know that something special was seen very early on in development and it paid off. If a project fails to impress after years of work... well.

However, another option for some projects (like Until Dawn) is to give it to another pair of hands with a fresh new look. But I don't see that happening here.
But hype is all there is. It's the energy that sustains all of us.
 
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