Layoffs hit Santa Monica studio. New IP canned

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Sony Santa Monica is one of my favorite developers. The talented studio behind the God of War franchise are known for producing hit after hit. Even though God of War: Ascension wasn’t the brightest star in their portfolio, it was a title of high production value.

According to IGN, approximately 50 employees were let go at Sony Santa Monica. They were associated with the new IP Stig Asmussen was leading. I was looking forward to what the God of War III director was up to. He did a pretty darn good job directing the third instalment.

With Irrational Games shutting its doors earlier this month and now this, I feel like no one is safe. Even big studios with blockbuster titles can end up on the chopping block. With all this talent floating about, I’m curious what the future holds. Will we see a new studio form up? A bunch of independent development studios?

Or is this the a sign of crumbling game’s industry?

Checkpoint: Why I Play Games Edition (Pt. 2)

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Today I’ll shed light on one of my favorite reasons to play games: to learn new things. I was introduced to the concept of hostess clubs via the Yakuza games. I experienced some of the traditions involved with Golden Week through the Persona games. And how can I not give credit to the plethora of World War II games for familiarizing me with all those historic battles?

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LTTP: God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PS3)

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LTTP or ‘late to the party’ pieces are opportunities for me to catch up and write about games I missed out on the first time around. They may contain spoilers.

God of War: Ascension was such a disappointment for me. Before playing that game, I didn’t think it was possible for Sony Santa Monica to disappoint me with a God of War title. I didn’t think the studio would start grasping at the fringes of Greek Mythology and roll back their combat advancements.

It was such a disappointing release that I began to doubt the franchise’s future success. Was this it? Was this the end of it all? Did they squeeze all that they could from this stone? Perhaps they did run out of ideas because there was another prequel that was released before Ascension, God of War: Ghost of Sparta.

Ready at Dawn’s God of War: Chains of Olympus was a solid effort and I expected their second contribution to this Sony franchise to be of equal calibre. I was mistaken though. Ghost of Sparta exceeded my expectations and I place it along side the mainline God of War titles.

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More ports heading to the Vita

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Sony dropped a few announcements on their blog today:

At least three more ports are headed to the PlayStation Vita. The headliner is Borderlands 2 which will include itself in a $199 PlayStation Vita (PCH-2000) bundle. New hardware revision coupled with the port of a game that’s nearly two years old?

That’s such a compelling offering.

The PlayStation Vita is quickly rising to the top of my list of poor hardware purchase decisions.

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