Earlier today, Google revealed a new Stadia studio that would be headed up by Shannon Studstill (above image, left), which left a vacancy in the Sony Santa Monica studio head office. Yumi Yang (above image, right), a 19-year PlayStation veteran, will be taking her place and leading the studio through its next unannounced project and beyond.
Yang was already deeply involved in many of Santa Monica Studio’s games, playing a crucial role in 2018’s God of War. Her 19 years of experience come from various positions across different PlayStation divisions. Most recently, Yang served as the Head of Product Development for Santa Monica Studio, helping the game “realize its groundbreaking potential.”
Sony issued a statement about Studstill’s departure and Yang’s new position:
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.
Sony notes that Yang has “a deep understanding of the studio’s distinct creative DNA,” which indicates that Santa Monica Studio is still in good hands after the departure of Studstill. The studio’s next title is currently unannounced, but they’ve presumably been hard at work since the completion of God of War in 2018. That new unannounced title will now come at the direction and under the leadership of Yumi Yang as the new Sony Santa Monica studio head.