Shannon Studstill, former Head of SIE Santa Monica Studio, is taking up a new position in Google’s growing games division. She will now head the second studio for Stadia Games and Entertainment, based out of Santa Monica Studio’s own backyard in Playa Vista.
The Hollywood Reporter shared the news, along with a statement from VP and Head of Stadia Games and Entertainment, Jade Raymond. According to the Stadia exec, the new Studstill-led team will center on developing “exclusive games, using new gameplay mechanics, creative ways to play together and unique interaction models that we’re just starting to explore.” While no one at Stadia is ready to unveil its plans for the new studio just yet, Raymond assures they are listening to what gamers want and intend to produce new IP. Studstill also announced the move on her Twitter.
— Shannon Studstill (@StudstillS) March 4, 2020
While this exciting news is certainly a boon for Google, the most interesting aspect concerns Studstill’s evident departure from the God of War studio. Before THR’s Stadia-related report today, no details had surfaced about the now-former Santa Monica Studio head’s departure. Studstill’s LinkedIn profile, however, suggests she took the job of a Stadia Studio Head just this month. Interestingly, there currently exists no word as to who adopted Studstill’s role at Santa Monica in the shuffle.
Studstill’s time in the industry dates back more than 20 years, nearly half of which was spent at PlayStation. She was integral to Santa Monica Studio’s rise to the top and served an equally essential part in crafting one of PlayStation’s most celebrated franchises–God of War. Suffice it to say, the future of Stadia is starting to look much more interesting as Google acquires top talent in the industry.