Posted 6:34pm

Santa Monica Studios: A new site, a new HQ

Hi everybody, my name is Shannon Studstill, Director of Santa Monica Studio! It’s hard to believe we started this studio 14 years ago with Sony veteran Allan Becker, who now heads up Sony Japan. The original core team formed together in a bunch of small cubed offices at PlayStation’s old headquarters, in what was the former 989 Studios. It was here that our small team established the foundation and vision for a new studio.

Sony Santa Monica StudioSony Santa Monica Studio

It was clear the walls at “989″ mixed with the good folks focused on the corporate business proved to be a not so artistic environment to foster our much needed creative culture. We needed to create games in a space with no walls, away from the daily “business”, where our collaboration as a creative team and family, would lead us to incredible designs.

Now 14 years later with 47 games published at this studio here in Santa Monica, it definitely feels like we made the right decision. As we continue our expansion, we’re preparing to say goodbye to this long-time home, and move into a new cutting-edge facility that will meet the needs of our growing team for the next era of Santa Monica Studio.

We won’t be moving far, actually — just a few miles south to Playa Vista (Check it out on Google Maps). For old-timers at Santa Monica Studio, especially those with us since Day 1, it’s hard to believe there was ever a time we moved into an early 1900′s train station — yes, our current home is an old train station — and it felt like new. There are so many great memories over the course of the last decade as we’ve grown to occupy this entire building, from a team that started with 16 people, to a bustling studio family over 220 strong.

Our current building and the atmosphere that it provides has proven to be a strong part of the fabric of who we are today despite earthquakes, chronic power outages, and even the occasional ghost sighting (watch our Halloween video). Within these battled walls we developed games like Kinetica and the God of War series, and fostered incredible partnerships with talented External Developers who brought classics like Journey, Sound Shapes, Fat Princess, and The Unfinished Swan to life.

Sony Santa Monica Studio

Sony Santa Monica Studio

Nostalgia aside, excitement for our new Santa Monica Studio is building. Our new facility dramatically increases the size of our open floor plan, which will allow all our disciplines to collaborate closer than ever before. Our “no walls” creative culture approach and unfettered collaboration between every person and department are central to our game development processes.

The facility will also house a state-of-the-art recording studio, along with being just steps away from a brand-new cutting-edge motion capture facility. The new mo-cap facility is being constructed from the ground up, literally adjacent to our new studio. It will be used specifically to facilitate the needs of all game development coming not only out of Santa Monica Studio, but our good friends at Naughty Dog as well.

Sony Santa Monica Studio

The move couldn’t be coming at a better time. With PS4 off to a historic start in the US and Europe, our new facility in Playa Vista will enable us to meet the needs of this powerful new game platform. If you were impressed by what our designers and engineers pulled off with PS3‘s technology, just wait until you see their capabilities on PS4.

Santa Monica Studios is always looking for great new talent to join our family. We are searching for people across all disciplines to work side-by-side with our phenomenal creative teams, alongside game directors like Stig Asmussen and Cory Barlog, both of whom have led the creation of our God of War games. You can also keep tabs on our hardworking creatives via regular updates on the new Santa Monica Studio website, with everything from game development insights and career advice, to updates on upcoming games like Hohokum and The Order: 1886.

Feel free to follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates relating to our big studio move later this year, our games, and our team. Thank you for your continued passion in our games, and above all else, players first!

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Congrats on the new space!!!!

 

Congrats with the move to a bigger and hopefully better place. Please give us atleast 1 more god of war for the ps4 or atleast a vitas own G.O.W. one of my most favourite games. Love the greek mythology and I dont think you should give up on Kratos. Kratos is by far the best game character ever

 
Project2insanity 29 January, 2014 @ 7:36 pm   3

Summing up Santa Monica Studios in one word: confidence. Every title produced oozes confidence. Not every title will suit every player but the production values are always impressive and there’s enough variety for every player to find something to taste. A game with Santa Monica Studios linked to it is a seal of approval.

Favourite Santa Monica game? Gotta agree with the dude who said God of War 2.

Bringing up 989 Studios screams Syphon Filter at me. We need it for PS4 and/or Vita. I’d be thrilled to see Santa Monica’s take on the franchise. Please?

Specting big things for PS4
what a shame that thatgamecompany is no more exclusive for sony :(

Really looking forward to the great games you will give us. Thank you for all the time and effort you pour into our entertainment.

 

You guys and girls are doing a great job.
I’m looking forward to play The Order:1886 and whatever other titles you are working on.
Have a great house warming party! :-D

 
HitmanSB07 29 January, 2014 @ 11:32 pm   7

Studstill is a really cool name!

Also congratulations…

 

I’m so happy for you guys. You deserve all the best that you can get. Keep up the excelllent work.
I wish I could be there working with you. I make good coffee :p

cink844i1313 30 January, 2014 @ 4:22 am   9

ps4 videĆ³. and tv

 

Is the name going to remain Santa Monica?

 

Great news for one of the best studios around!

 
Skipperdoo 30 January, 2014 @ 6:47 pm   12

Congratz on the new place
Looking forward to your new games!