Following Shannon Studstill’s departure, Yumi Yang will now serve as the studio head at the developer behind God of War.
Earlier today, Google announced that it would be launching a new studio in Playa Vista, California, and that the team would be led by former studio head at Sony Santa Monica Studio, Shannon Studstill. While this was a big move for all parties involved, it begged the question of who would now be leading the team over at Santa Monica. As of now, we have our answer.
In a message sent to IGN, Sony confirmed that Yumi Yang will now step into Studstill’s previous role and will serve as the studio head at Santa Monica. Yang has been with PlayStation for 19-years and previously has served as a Director of Product Development and Staff Technical Project Manager, according to her LinkedIn page. She also played a major role in the development of the studio’s most recent project, God of War.
Here is Sony’s full message speaking both to Studstill’s departure and Yang’s promotion:
We extend our warmest congratulations to Shannon Studstill on her new role. Under her leadership, the studio she helped found over twenty years ago masterfully reinvented itself and its greatest franchise with 2018’s Game of the Year, God of War. In her role as VP of Product Development, Shannon helped smaller independent teams incubate within the studio, leading to groundbreaking works like Journey and The Unfinished Swan. All of PlayStation is better for and grateful of her many years of exemplary service and bold creative vision.
Taking over as studio head is Yumi Yang, a 19-year PlayStation veteran with an extensive background in product development and heavy involvement across many of Santa Monica Studio’s biggest games. Her project management prowess and meticulous oversight of 2018’s God of War helped the title fully realize its groundbreaking potential. After nearly two decades and countless substantial contributions to Santa Monica Studio’s rich legacy, Yumi has the unquestioned respect and trust of her peers. With her vast experience and deep understanding of the studio’s distinct creative DNA, she is perfectly positioned to lead Santa Monica Studio to a bold and exciting future.
While this might just seem like a simple move on paper for both Studstill and Yang, to have a mix up at one of the biggest developers in Sony’s catalog, especially moving into the PS5 era, is quite a major change. The changing of a studio head surely won’t overhaul whatever it is that Santa Monica Studio might be working on at the moment, but any time you have a leadership swap like this at a company, it’s a pretty big deal.
It’ll be interesting to follow both Stadia and Sony Santa Monica moving forward to see what each respective company ends up working on. In the case of Santa Monica Studio, a sequel to God of War seems all but guaranteed to occur at some point down the line. Perhaps once Sony formally reveals the PS5, we’ll start to have a better idea of what the studio could be hard at work on.