Sony Santa Monica Studio is best known for developing God of War, a thrilling action-adventure game that took home the 2019 BAFTA for Best Game.
However, what you might not realise is that prior to its release, the studio was busy working on another title. Something completely different which was pushing the studio in ways it hadn't experienced before.
But ultimately, it was a project that was cancelled before completion.
Internal-7 was the codename for this project, a sci-fi PS4 exclusive that had been in development for around 3 years before the plug was unfortunately pulled on the project.
On top of pre-production on Internal-7 ceasing, many developers working on the unfinished game sadly lost their jobs which was heavily reported at the time.
In response, Sony issued the following statement:
SCEA can confirm that we have completed a reduction in workforce at Santa Monica Studio. This is a result of a cycle of resource re-alignment against priority growth areas within SCE WWS. We do not take these decisions lightly. However, sometimes it is necessary to make changes to better serve the future projects of the studio. We have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease transition for those impacted.
However, following the release of Sony Santa Monica's new documentary, Raising Kratos, more information has come to light.
It appears that after the studio pulled the plug on Internal-7, over 100 developer staff were merged into the God of War team.
A move that was supposedly "8 months early" and accelerated work on Santa Monica’s next big project.
Head of Sony Santa Monica Shanon Studstill labelled Internal-7 as ‘a dream that died.’ Apparently, the team originally had great hopes for the game.
As mentioned, Santa Monica has released a full feature-length documentary titled ‘Raising Kratos’ which looks at how the PS4 God of War game was created from start to finish.
Part of that journey also documents the cancellation of Internal-7, alongside clips which show a selection of concept art from the unfinished game.
If you've not watched the documentary yet, skip to the 8.59 minute mark in the video below to look for yourself.
The concept art certainly looks interesting, with futuristic space suits apparently scanning insect-like alien life for DNA signatures in some sort of otherworldly cave system.
The whole thing has an Alien/Prometheus vibe, and Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi film series is certainly no bad thing to riff on.
PlayStation Game Development Head for Sony Worldwide Studios America Scott Rohde states during the feature that:
‘One of the hardest things you’ll ever do in development is when you sink your heart and soul into something and realise that it’s not coming together the way we wanted it to.’
It seems a striking visual aesthetic was not enough to save Internal-7 from the chop. Sad, because what we’ve seen of the cancelled game certainly looks interesting enough to make us want to know more.
And if you're wondering what the likelihood is of seeing the game again in the future, it's unlikely. We already pretty much know that Sony Santa Monica are working on God of War 2, so we doubt they're in a position to kickstart the IP again.
However, with such an amazing creative team assembled to produce God of War, here’s hoping that any new Santa Monica IPs in the future do make it all the way through pre-production.
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- God Of War
- PS4 News
- Vince Mcmahon
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