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As Sony Santa Monica cancels new IP, Jon Blow calls out the ‘business suits’

Thursday, 27th February 2014 09:30 GMT By Dave Cook

God of War developer Sony Santa Monica Studio announced a round of lay-offs yesterday, and the cancellation of a new IP. Braid and The Witness creator Jonathan Blow has taken to Twitter to call out the culling of new ideas, and pour scorn on the ‘business suits.’

We reported on the Sony Santa Monica lay-offs yesterday, and following the news, sacked lead level designer Jonathan Hawkin took to Twitter to discuss the move.

He wrote, “Yesterday, I was laid off. It was a good 10 year run & I got to make three 90+ games. I lived the dream & got to accomplish all of my goals. Except oneā€¦ making something out of nothing & creating a new AAA IP.

“The saddest part of waking up today is I no longer get to work with my family. Secondly, the pain that I feel for my friends who have lost their jobs. The saddest & most important part is the game I was creating for the player that will never be played. I’m sorry that I’ve failed you.”

The Witness creator Jon Blow then voiced his own concerns on Twitter. “Game publishers like to talk about how new IPs are scary and risky and usually not worth it,” he began, “but this is clearly poor thinking, because every single megablockbuster franchise, that Mr. Business Suit Guy would rather put the money toward, was once a new IP.

“God of War was once a new IP. Call of Duty was once a new IP. etc, it is so obvious, how does Mr. Business Suit not see this? Maybe next time I meet Mr. Business Suit I will ask him to name an Old IP that was not once a New IP.”

Does Blow have a point? What do you make of Hawkin’s comments? Let us know below.

Via Videogamer & DualShockers.

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15 Comments

  1. Dragon

    @Dave,
    Some more rumours here-
    http://www.dualshockers.com/2014/02/26/sony-santa-monicas-canceled-new-ip-was-sci-fi-really-unique-set-to-be-unveiled-at-e3-insider-says/

    To get a project cancelled which was (supposedly) so close to being revealed is a bit weird to me. As said in the article, something big must have gone wrong, since essentially work worth millions was scrapped.

    And btw, I posted a “news” thread in the forums for news tips, since the old thread doesn’t look to be coming back.

    #1 5 months ago
  2. kingy

    Something’s gone wrong that’s for sure ,if the game wasn’t up to scratch I can’t see SSM releasing it ,they are very good developers and we have to take their judgement at the end of the day

    #2 5 months ago
  3. Fin

    Blow’s being a bit shortsighted here – “but this is clearly poor thinking”.
    Well no Jon, you’ve no idea why it was cancelled. Maybe it was in dev hell, maybe the game sucked, maybe it was too similar to an existing IP. Calling out suits for cancelling a project when you have absolutely zero visibility on the reasons is a bit stupid.

    #3 5 months ago
  4. Erthazus

    @1, Maybe concept was not working or required a ton of money to finish the game.
    They could at least show us the footage of the game to judge for us.

    #4 5 months ago
  5. KAP

    1. Just because a game is cancelled, doesn’t mean they automatically delete the assets. They still exist within SSM and will more then likely pick up chase or reuse assets in the future.

    2. A little research would tell you that SSM has had 3 new IP in development for the past year now. One of which is cancelled but there is still two imminent IPs to be announced. One from Cory Balrog and the other from Stig’s team.

    3. Games gets cancelled all the time that we don’t know of, It’s a fact of life as far as game dev is concerned. Some games we know and love today were previously scrapped/dropped ideas that was later iterated on,

    With all that all said, it’s never good for people to lose there jobs, in any industry,
    Mr Hawkins was involved with GOW 2, GOW 3 & GOWA all incredible titles and should be more then proud of his achievements.

    #5 5 months ago
  6. Luciferous

    If it’s an entire dev team that has been fired then they are primed to strike out on their own together. Form a studio, use their already stellar dev cred to get something underway, maybe see about getting the rights to the IP they were working on because he sounds confident in it, even if SSM weren’t.

    #6 5 months ago
  7. sagtlthl

    Here you go guys, below is the reason (I believe) as it is the only reason that makes sense according to what I have been reading

    http://www.rocketchainsaw.com.au/exclusive-sony-santa-monicas-layoffs-new-ip-00912/

    #7 5 months ago
  8. Dragon

    @Erthazus,
    I agree with the first line, but not the last one. They would have shown us if it was a kickstarter project, but that hardly happens in AAA development.

    #8 5 months ago
  9. AppleRedX

    @KAP
    The project that got canceled was Stigs new IP. Greatness waits even longer now.

    https://twitter.com/jonathanhawkins/status/438753163777019904

    #9 5 months ago
  10. YoungZer0

    Oh man, another cancelled Sci-Fi Game? Prey 2 was enough already and now this? You’re breakin’ my heart here, folks!

    Let’s hope this doesn’t mean we get another God of War, because I’m fucking sick of this franchise.

    #10 5 months ago
  11. KAP

    @AppleRedX

    Damn, thanx for the heads up man. Well there is still new IP still getting developed… I guess.

    #11 5 months ago
  12. Dragon

    More rumours,
    http://www.dualshockers.com/2014/02/27/sony-santa-monicas-canceled-ip-was-too-similar-to-destiny-on-track-until-last-week-according-to-insiders/

    It makes sense why it got shaft if the rumours are true.

    #12 5 months ago
  13. Bomba Luigi

    Its really hard to say what happend there, because I don’t know anything really. But I can’t imagine that they canceled it just because its a new IP, I mean all that Time in Development means Sony has put a lot of Money in that Game.

    So why cancel it? I really only can imagine that it wasn’t really in a good state and still a lot of Work had to be put in. So maybe they had to put more Money in without seeing the potential to get the Money back and only making a bigger loss.

    That at least is the only reason that would make sense for me from a Business point. But I really have no freaking Idea. Its a sad situation.

    #13 5 months ago
  14. Selderane

    Mr. Blow’s criticism is too easy to make, and even easier to tear down.

    You want them to show you an Old IP that wasn’t once a New IP? Okay.

    Cover their lost investment on New IPs that didn’t catch on to become Old IPs.

    It’s easy to talk a good game when it’s not your money on the line.

    #14 5 months ago
  15. Mike W

    @Erthazus

    And what would that have done?

    #15 5 months ago

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