All it takes is one amazing game to sell over 10 million and win a billion game of the year awards for the rest of the gaming industry to poach all of your best talent!

The game I’m talking about? 2018’s God of War. Shannon Studstill had been at Sony for 20 years has jumped ship from the head of SMS to help the struggling Stadia platform form a new studio to create exclusives for Google.

Now 19-year PlayStation veterean Yumi Yang is taking over as the new head of SMS. The new Big Boss was confirmed via a statement to IGN.

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.

Plenty of SMS team members who worked on God of War have also left for other high profile jobs. While we can’t confirm anything, we have our suspicions that another major part of the SMS team might also be making a major move.

Do you think these changes could have an impact on the studio? Let us know in the comments below.

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