Sony Santa Monica Names Longtime Vet as New Studio Head

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From left: Shannon Studstill, video game designer Cory Barlog and Yumi Yang

The 'God of War' developer has tapped Yumi Yang as its new leader, following the departure of Shannon Studstill to Google's new Stadia studio in Playa Vista.

Yumi Yang, a 19-year PlayStation veteran, has taken over as head of Sony Santa Monica following the departure of longtime studio director Shannon Studstill on Wednesday. Studstill left Sony Santa Monica, where she was instrumental in launching the reboot of the God of War franchise in 2018, to head Google's new Stadia Games and Entertainment offices in Playa Vista. 

IGN was the first to report Yang's promotion.

"We extend our warmest congratulations to Shannon Studstill on her new role," said a spokesperson for Sony. "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."

Yang, who was previously head of product development at the studio, has played a pivotal role in many of Sony Santa Monica's titles over the years, including God of War. Her tenure at Sony Santa Monica began in 2001, where she was a senior producer.

"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," the Sony spokesperson said. "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."

Sony Santa Monica's current projects are being kept under wraps, though it is widely rumored that the team is working on a follow-up to God of War