Former Sony Santa Monica Lead Level Designer Confirms The Cancellation Of GOW 3 Director’s New IP

It was recently revealed that Sony has laid off about 50 of their staff from Sony Santa Monica studio. Now it has been confirmed by one former lead level designer that the new IP that they were working on is indeed cancelled.

Jonathan Hawkins has been a Lead Level Designer at Sony Santa Monica for about 10+ years now. He was also working on their new IP along with other developers including Andy Puhl and Rob Davis. After the news regarding the layoffs hit the internet, it was sort of rumored that most of the developers, that were laid off, were working on a new IP at Sony Santa Monica. This new IP has been in the rumors for a long while now and said to be an “Open World” game with focus on science fiction. It might have also been teased in God of War: Ascension, in the form of an easter egg.

According to the Linkedin profile of one former developer, they were supposed to reveal a new project in 2013, although it seems like that it didn’t went through as planned.

Jonathan Hawkins confirmed on twitter that this new IP is indeed canned now. It was the long rumored God of War 3 director Stig Asmussen project, which has been cancelled now.

We have our sympathies with the developers who lost their job due to the recent layoffs, and we hope they can find a job soon.

Khurram Imtiaz

Editor-in-Chief at GearNuke. I am a hardcore Final Fantasy fan and lover of JRPGs. When I am not posting news, I can be seen sharing my thoughts over at Twitter.

You can follow me on Twitter and Google+

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  • Katisnotinthegame

    So they hired that Battlestar Galactica guy for no reason and wasted development of a game for 3 years? Sad

  • Zac Lee Martin

    I already know Sony has losses. I stated all of them. I never denied any of it. I simply stated that you keep on bringing up their errors and pretend that Microsoft has no issues.

    I STILL see NOTHING about the 4-6% market value loss PER DAY like you claimed. Now you tone it down to just 4% every day, and again, I see NOTHING to support this. Especially since PS4 came out and is going insanely strong and restructured a lot of things to cut losses.

    You’re trying to make it seem like I’m on damage control for Sony, when you’re on damage control for Microsoft. I’m not saying Sony has no troubles, How many times do I need to clarify this? You are telling me you get info from good sources and not rumor-infested news galleries and you just posted a Youtube/N4G source.

    You’re right. Steve Balmer being such a large share holder was a big reason for why they didn’t want to get rid of him, and the ONLY reason. If not for that he would have been gone ages ago. He’s an embarrassment.

    What are you doing? You’re talking about this “Sony to buy Nintendo” and Neogaf rumors like “Microsoft to sell XBox division”, like I have been talking about them. Did I say Sony could buy Nintendo? Did I say Microsoft was going to sell XBox? No, but their own shareholders, which is 1% of a giant company, know far more about stocks, market value, and this than you do and want it gone, which is not a rumor.

    You’re so blatantly stupid and ignorant. You know one thing and that is small online stock exchanges, which is not even close to scraping the entire picture.

    Your first comment was you comparing Microsoft and Sony and starting your entirely biased rant. Every comment of yours is exactly the same and therefore every comment of mine turns out the same way.

    Your first comment said “Compared to Microsoft where they’re spend hundreds of millions here and there developing games, Sony looks like they total opposite.”. Yea, Sony has more developers than Microsoft. Sony has more AAA titles in line and already has brand new games out for free for Playstation Plus users on PS4, they made plenty of expensive devkits only to lend them to a bunch of developers for free, their developer amount is vastly bigger, their projects are much bigger, and they clearly spent more money on developing the PS4 than Microsoft, though I’m sure you mean software developers only, which Sony thoroughly outdoes Microsoft in.

    You compared Sony and Microsoft in the first place and judge Sony, as big of a company as they are, for VERY similar occurrences as what Microsoft has also been doing. Your ONLY counter-argument that is at all plausible is Microsoft is more rich, obviously. But, I never said Microsoft is dying. I said they cut departments down, 5000 employees a couple years ago, lost $18 billion on Nokia market value, and that the RRoD cost $3 billion alone, while 360 was a loss of $2 billion a year afterwards. But, I already said that it won’t effect Microsoft’s ability to produce anything. They are rich, and even though Sony isn’t near as rich they are still very wealthy and are alive. Both companies are alive. I’ve been saying this the entire time and merely used similarities between the two to make you see that and you keep on acting like I’m spewing lies and bullcrap, when only you are every time you try to justify Microsoft’s decisions and then turn around and pick on Sony’s decisions.

  • extermin8or2

    in USA they take a loss in the UK, EU and Asia they were taking a slight profit on each machine sold. Came from the horses mouth in a pre-launch interview about a week before the ps4 hit the UK I’d link you but I have no idea whereabouts to find it but it was a mainstream gaming media site. Might’ve been IGN. F2P games aren’t stealling software sales there’s a software drought for the next month or two anyway and no one in their right mind neglects full retail titles over F2P games.

  • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

    Been more news about this then Titanfall, LOL. In an industry were game development is cancelled all the time and people are laid off all the time its amazing this is such big news, not even Irrational games closing was talked about for this long or this much. Logic would say it probably has something to do with Sony doing so well right now, the Microsoft bought and paid for media have got to hammer home the bad news in order to try and bring Sony down a peg.

  • JerkDaNERD7

    Is their dire financial straits reaching this far?! Wow…even in a division they cut all others to focus on. Sony seems fairly in big trouble. Compared to Microsoft where they’re spend hundreds of millions here and there developing games, Sony looks like they total opposite.

    • Zac Lee Martin

      Microsoft had layoffs last year too. In fact they finally got rid of Steve Balmer. Companies have layoffs and whenever a project doesn’t work out then you don’t need people to work it.

      What dire financial straits? Did you read that from a rumor-infested news gallery? Sony recently hired tons of employees in order to make some of their biggest studios have more then one team.

      • JerkDaNERD7

        I have never come across anything where Microsoft had any type of layoffs. Anything near to “layoff” that Microsoft came close to was with shutting down the Vancouver studio back in 2012, to makeup now what is Black Tusk Studios. So you are either lying or misinformed.

        Steve Ballmer was FAR from a layoff, LOL! If anything the chump is STILL the second largest shareholder. Doubt Ballmer is wetting himself over loosing the job. In fact it’s a great thing, because Satya Nadella seems more competent and Gates is back.

        Also, how I got my info on Sony’s “dire financial straits”? Did I read it from a rumor infested news gallery?? You mean like Microsoft selling it’s Xbox Division to Amazon by some “insider” at NeoGaf?! LOL! NO, it’s a FACT Sony is suffering real bad financially.

        • extermin8or2

          They are suffering and it’s a commonly known fact that several MS shareholders have publicly pushed for MS to leave gaming and sell the brand. Regardless this wasn’t down to Sony’s financials, they wouldn’t have cancelled a game with 2-3 years dev time already, alot of investment, hyping and teasing. They even purchased new larger and bettter premises for the developer so they could employ more pleople/have EVEN more teams. This wasn’t because they couldn’t fund it this was something else, and i suspect something quite big and with othe’ courses of action not being an option for whatever reason,

          • JerkDaNERD7

            Money talk BS walks, LOL! I know that was lame, but it rings a sense of truth when Sony at this very moment is loosing 4-6% in market value EVERYDAY now. How you would NOT consider that the ONLY reason the men in suits would come into your offices on a project that was going to be shown at E3, and drastically just canned it. Shows that it all stems from the financial situation Sony is currently in. They are bleeding money, FACT!

            You haven’t stated the other reason as to why they would cann a new IP this EARLY into the new gen when every studio out there are on all fours for the new gen consoles.

            Also, the shareholders of Value Act holds NOTHING to what the major shareholders of Microsoft already see in the Xbox Division. Just because they raised suggestions doesn’t mean that Microsoft is in a desperate situation to sell off. With Gates back and taking Satya’s expertise into consideration, it is there in line with everything that Xbox One is built for…a device as a service hub. So if anything that is just a moot point to even make compared to Sony’s financials situation.

          • Zac Lee Martin

            They aren’t losing market value. Where do you get this from?

            No one knows anything about the cancelled project other then it was a sci-fi game that was canceled and was only worked on by a small team. Shown at e3? Do you know the game wasn’t far in development at all?

            Bleeding money… That’s why they have expanded all their studios earlier last year so much that their biggest studios now have multiple teams within them working on multiple games?

            Why would they cancel an IP? Probably, because they didn’t like it? Do you think Sony would purposefully feed consumers what they think isn’t good?

            Are you this dense? You are here struggling to argue about Sony having issues when Microsoft had similar issues last year and has done tons of restructuring as well. But, just because you like XBox more than Playstation, you ignore anything bad that happened to Microsoft and insult Sony for the same thing.

            Here you are trying to make a small cancelled project you know nothing about a huge deal while making Value Act seem like a small deal, just because of your biased preference. Pathetic. Value Act has a say in the company. Why do you think they were granted a seat for the meetings?

            Microsoft has been losing PC market share for years by the way. Microsoft has been losing roughly $2 billion on XBox every year, not even accounting for the $3 billion+ that they lost on repairing XBox’s with the RRoD, which, by the way, the weren’t going to do until it was court ordered that they either repair them or took it off the market.

            Do you want to keep pointing out Sony’s troubles and ignore Microsoft’s all for the sake of running your mouth in hopes a gullible person will believe you?

          • JerkDaNERD7

            Value Act has a say…obviously. But they will NEVER pass anything because they don’t have that power. Bill Gates and Ballmer are the largest individual shareholders, so I highly doubt Value Act will see it’s way.

            It’s funny how you guys like to bring up the figure of 3 billion dollar loos as if Sony came out of last gen without any looses. When in fact they lost more than Microsoft and why they are in dire financial situations.

            You seem like you don’t understand just how sever Sony is suffering financially given in how your trying so hard to compare Sony’s loosing to Microsoft as if it’s effecting em’ just as much as it’s effecting Sony when that is FAR from the TRUTH.

            So if you have done your own due diligence on the matter you’ll come across how bad Sony is, especially if you check out their annual and quarterly filings.

            Too bad I can’t post sources on here to smooth our debate out without you thinking I’m pulling everything out of my arse. Comment system won’t let me post URLs on here.

          • Zac Lee Martin

            Microsoft laid off 5,000 a couple years ago and 200 in recent years. Microsoft lost $18 billion in market value from Nokia. I still have yet to find Sony losing 4-6% market value, let alone that much EVERY day.

            Microsoft has been showboating any chance they get. Sony has hundreds more developers than Microsoft. Of course they would be looking for developers, especially from the competition that thoroughly sweeps away the competition when it comes to AAA games and how many they produce. Of course, this is partially subjective, but it’s still a fact that Sony has more devs, more games, and more titles with large caliber that tend to have critical success.

            Sony used to be a far bigger hardware giant. Parts of their markets are shrinking, and you don’t have to go to special stores to get specific products anymore. They hardly needed as many stores as they did and they hardly need the ones they still have.

            Sony sold PS3 at a loss because, at the time, Bluray needed a colossal push and they didn’t want to wait any longer or else Playstation would lose more market share. It cost over $800 to manufacture a product that was $500 and $600 at retail. Obviously, they would lose money. It’s a far different situation where Microsoft lost money because of their own terrible choices, resulting in absolutely terrible hardware reliability, controversy with NSA, controversy with DRM, controversy with paying youtubers in secrecy, which Machinima took the blame for, absolutely terrible CEO, massive issues with Vista, poor contact with consumers with Windows 8, etcetera. They are completely out of touch with the market.

            It’s no secret of Microsoft’s extreme wealth, but that isn’t the point. No one cares to hear the “Microsoft is rich” excuse after every mistake and failure. Sony is rich, too. Microsoft is cutting losses when they are at the top of the chart. Are they going anywhere? No. Sony is cutting losses, and it has nothing to do with the company about to “sink” as you say. No matter how rich you are if you have losses then you have to cut spending. It’s business. Do you know how business works or are you still going to go on your rants on every Sony article with your wanna-be “elitist” “business” term facade?

          • JerkDaNERD7

            Lol, WoW!

            After reading your comment, it has come across that you are TRULY out of touch with the facts. It seems you have more of a personal point of view of what Sony and Microsoft are in.

            You claimed last year Microsoft had layoffs, when that is far from the facts. Going off of the 5000 you provided the ONLY time that ever happened was back in 2009…0.o……..The ONLY latest I can recall Microsoft having layoffs, as I had stated before was back in 2012 which was the Vancouver studio. But Microsoft CLEARLY revealed last year it was to make up what is now Black Tusk. How you have trouble considering that FACT is BEYOND me. It’s obvious your circumventing facts and why we are still arguing on moot points that is useless.

            What does Sony’s overpriced of manufacturing the PS3 have ANYTHING to do with Microsoft’s controversies?! Microsoft does not LOOSE money on a firmware update, LOL! Totally different situation and why Sony’s was worst off. Your trying so hard to bring up arguments that doesn’t even effect Microsoft financially. Even if there are looses in those “controversies”, they aren’t wetting themselves over that.

            Your grasping at straws here buddy and trying so hard to wish away the HUGE benefits of having deep pockets in an “industry” of….BUSINESS! Your personal intentions for gaming are just that….YOURS. To the gaming industry it’s BUSINESS as usual.

            “Sony is rich, too. Microsoft is cutting losses when they are at the top of the chart. Are they going anywhere? No. Sony is cutting losses, and it has nothing to do with the company about to “sink” as you say. No matter how rich you are if you have losses then you have to cut spending. It’s business.”

            You clearly have NO IDEA what your on about. What chart? What Microsoft looses?! When your going through a corporate spin-off of your assets, NOT for ANY benefits but to simply mitigate the decline whether in market value or capital….THAT SHOWS your in a sinking ship. I trade on the OTC markets buddy and I know a sinking ship when I see one…that’s how I make money for gaming, LOL! So don’t lecture me on what Sony troubles, because you OBVIOUSLY have no GRASP of the matter. WOW, your amazing. Stay away from the kool-aid fountain. I know what Sony is serving up is tasty but buddy your going to experience a major crash, LOL.

            Tip? Go look at their fillings on yahoo finance or whatever. Just google it. Also, Google “Nintendo bigger than Sony”. Sony at this very moment is in a sinking ship. I’m not saying that they are completely doomed, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. But fact are facts, they are currently bleeding money.

          • Zac Lee Martin

            Who said Microsoft lost money on a firmware update?

            Right. I’m trying hard when you are one-sidedly commenting on multiple places and you tend to be favoring Microsoft.

            When Microsoft’s business themselves stated they lost $18 billion in market value for Nokia, lost $2 billion a year with XBox, lost money on each Surface, laid off more employees than Sony in recent years, and you’re now asking me “What Microsoft losses”.

            Sony hired far more developers recently, I already said this. Despite that they hired far more, made a lot more deals, etcetera. You use Black Tusk as an excuse to justify that Microsoft is doing fine? Okay.. What about how Sony hired more developers in recent years than Microsoft? Does that mean their past layoffs and losses are gone and you’re not going to get on to them anymore?

            The bias is astounding. Neither company is going anywhere. Both have losses, made cuts, layed off employees, hired new ones, etcetera. They are both in the same spot and enormously rich.

            When I said chart, I was talking about being one of the top valuable companies in the world.

            Oh, you trade on OTC markets? That’s laughable. It doesn’t support anything you say. You’re still acting like I’m excusing any of Sony’s issues, which I have again and again clarified with you that they have issues right now and in recent years. But, you keep pretending like when I speak of Microsoft that it’s not true and that they are perfect and even though they laid off a bunch of employees in recent years too that it’s okay because they recently hired more employees for their game division, but oh no Sony isn’t alright when they recently hired more than what Microsoft hired, this must mean their broke and at complete loss when they’re doing what Microsoft does right, in your eyes, but on a bigger scale.

          • JerkDaNERD7

            Wow, you know what I just realized. Is that this is pointless, because it’s not me proving you wrong. I have stated facts that you have circumvented time and again. If anything it’s you trying so hard to prove yourself right even if I have stated relevant points.

            Enjoy your time at the kool-fountain my friend. Not too long before you experience a crash…LOL!

          • Zac Lee Martin

            I don’t understand why you think this is an argument of who is right and who is wrong.

            I stated equal terms on both sides that are facts. Both companies made mistakes, you’re ragging on Sony because they have less money than Microsoft and still you’re ignoring Microsoft lost money on some of their divisions, or else you are trying to ignore that and start listing off where Sony lost money. You think this is a competition but you’re arguing with yourself.

            Right, “some of these companies”.. What company is like Sony in scale, with as enormous of a history as them with the Sony Walkman and Playstation? Obviously, every company is going to have setbacks, like I’ve been telling you Microsoft has had, and you keep on trying to cover for it by saying “B-But, Sony..!”. Right, some kind of adult you are.

            That’s why you couldn’t find your “4-6% market value loss per day” source? Still have not seen anything saying that. Can you not analyse this yourself? I thought you dealt with the market.

            By your logic Microsoft is also a “failing company”. Oh, no. Here comes you responding to that with “B-But, Sony..!”. Pathetic excuses. Stop being one-sided. You friggin insulted Sony for depending on their Playstation division which is gaining market share, as if Microsoft doesn’t depend on their Windows OS, which is losing market share.

            You’re out of touch with the market and in touch with numbers, which aren’t permanent. Good for you. You’re at the bottom of the OTC market and you’re flaunting about it. You aren’t even accepting Microsoft has issues. You’re finding excuse after excuse to set them aside and again and again going back to ways to belittle Sony. Grow up.

          • extermin8or2

            I never said ms were desperate I just said its a known fact some of their powerful shareholders want it sold I was reffering to sony when I said they were sufferring ans no its not a fact, infact it really doesnt make any sense by what theey did they likely lost alot of alreadybinvested money-why I dont thinkbit was a pure financial decision by the suits.

          • JerkDaNERD7

            Oh, I see.

            Well, those “powerful” investors only wanted to unlock further shareholder value. It pretty much had nothing to do with Xbox Division it’self.

            Also, what is your assumption besides financial problems that Sony would cancel such a project towards the end? Simply I can’t find any other reason aside from them bleeding money currently. IMO it’s as obvious as that, you’ll be surprised in how very different the intentions of the suits are from Sony’s creative group. Most likely similar to Microsoft. The rumor with Destiny being similar to the IP has already been shot down by Cory Barlog himself, so I see no other reason.

    • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

      Microsoft doesn’t develop anything, they pay off developers to get “exclusive” content, that’s about it.

      • JerkDaNERD7

        Sony doesn’t developing anything either. Like Microsoft they payoff developers who develope games for their studios.

        Buying exclusives are just a jist of what a company with deep pockets do. Sony buying timed DLCs simply because that’s how far their pockets reach, lol.

        • Zac Lee Martin

          Sony owns developers, which they have grown for over a decade.

          Paying their own developers isn’t the same as going up to an independent studio and paying them for exclusive rights. Not at all.

          Stop your stupidly ignorant rant.

  • Dirkster_Dude

    The games that feel the most unique to me are Destiny, Witcher 3, and Titanfall. I have no real interest in playing Titanfall, but it has that Call of Duty game play characteristics with giant robots and an interactive multiplayer threaded story told through cut scenes as you play the multiplayer game. It makes me wonder why Infinity Ward and Activision couldn’t have done something similar to reinvigorate the Call of Duty series instead of the stale crap they have put out year after year?

  • ThePokeMaster

    ” There already wasn’t a lot coming to the PS4 outside of indies and free-2-play ”

    But there IS plenty coming from every developer from Worldwide Studios.

    Also, people said that the Wii U was in trouble, not Nintendo.

  • Axe99

    Aye, but then they make money back on every game sold – I think it was something like one game and a PS+ sub and they were positive. With the (retail, not counting digital) attach rate over 2, it’s fair to say they’re making money. That’s enough parochial truth-bending from you, one-eye ;).

    • We’re all aware that MS/Sony/Nintendo make their money back on software loyalties, but if the Japanese launch of the PS4 is any indication (probably not because it’s a very particular market) the PS4’s software – hardware attach rate is as low as 30%… Which is bad

      Console sales are through the roof! But that’s where the company takes its loss. However, software – where the company makes most of its money – is struggling. One retailer said only 46% of those buying a PS4 picked up a game, while another said only 30% of console purchasers grabbed any additional software.

      http://www.vg247 . com/2014/02/26/ps4-japan-attach-rate-as-low-as-30-report/

      Sorry for potential double-post.

      • Axe99

        Aye, the attach rate in Japan looks very low, but that’s just Japan. While not as high as the rate for the XB1, the attach rate outside of Japan was a bit above two last I’d heard, which is well into the profitability window, and the 300K sales in Japan are a pretty small proportion of overall sales (less than 10%).

        • extermin8or2

          Also console was said to break even/be profitable in Japan. And it came with knack and those figures don’t include digital.

  • Zach Lusk

    Actually, Sony’s making 30 +/- a few dollars on each console.. What’s hurting them really is their other retail stuff.. Everything but their movie production and Playstation brand is losing money and putting them into a deeper hole.

  • that is f**ed up man!
    and the fact is developers or publishers NEVER go back on cancelled games:/

    • ; n ; We can still dream about 1313 though, can’t we? IT’S NOT TOO LATE!! IT CAN STILL HAPPEN!!

      *cries self to sleep*

  • Adiphu

    Very very disappointing to hear. The Order is shaping up to be an interesting game if you can appreciate what it sets out to be, but I was hoping for some other new IPs from Sony. No offense but inFAMOUS isn’t doing it for me. It reminds me of a game that tries to be good by following a certain pattern but its missing soul. It sounds like this cancelled IP was going to have a little of that extra presence that can resonate with gamers.

  • blamooooo

    I hope it’s not the new mmo they were working on they cancled which was supposed to be inspired off of star wars galaxies.

  • Dennis Crosby

    To be honest that a big hit to the ps4. This shows that Sony is really hurting if they have to layoff alot of people from a great studio on top off canceling a game that PS4 owner were waiting for

    • Dathan Witchet

      We never saw the game so it really was only hardcore people who knew anything at all about it.

    • Geoffrey Davey

      No offense, but that’s a whole bunch of speculation and conjecture on your part. Games get cancelled, and when they do staff get downsized. That’s all we know for sure.

    • or maybe the game was just too expensive:/
      Sony cancelling it doesn’t mean they are being hurt

      • datdude

        Or maybe the sci fi game that was canceled just wasn’t living meeting the high expectations Sony and the developer itself had for the title.

    • ThePokeMaster

      Sony Santa Monica was already working on like 3 projects.

    • datdude

      News of cancellation of a project is not a big hit when nothing about the project is known. Did you take the same dire outlook when the game Black Tusk was working on for the xbone was cancelled and they were pulled off their pet project to start working on the next Gears of War? And Black Tusk had actually shown a trailer for that game last year, we have seen nothing from Sony Santa Monica’s teams yet. There was news weeks ago that the Santa Monica studio was moving locations, so who knows what the rest of that development house is working on. Time will tell, and we’ll learn more soon no doubt. The more troubling news is the layoff/downsizing of a quality studio with good people working there.

    • Virdin Barzey

      It is a hit but not sure how big of a hit. Time will tell. Folks like to blow these things off but this is the studio that brought us God of War. It is also the studio that was working on The Order 1866 with Ready at Dawn. That game is looking suspect as well despite it great looking graphics (see IGN).

      Even though we never got to see the cancelled game, you have to begin to question how bad it must have been since we’ve seen layoffs but the game remains on hold. Not here. They flat out cancelled it which reeks of they didn’t think it was worth saving.

      Hopefully they are reorganizing to make the team more efficient to save money since Sony has been doing that all over (store closing with more layoffs, closing pc division, spinning of tv division, etc). Make no mistake, Sony as a company has been hurting despite the fanboy rants.