The Sony development studio behind 2018's God of War – and the upcoming God of War: Ragnarok sequel – seems to be working on an unannounced title, if a new job listing posted to Twitter is anything to go by.
Santa Monica Studio's official Twitter account posted a vacancy for an art director, explicitly for an "unannounced" game, and we're already in a frenzy over what it might be.
🔥 HOT JOB: ART DIRECTOR 🔥We are seeking an experienced Art Director for the development of a new unannounced title!If you’ve got what it takes to guide and inspire our team to deliver best-in-class visual quality, apply here 👉 https://t.co/HBV4G97OtI #SMSCareers #Gamedev pic.twitter.com/IkzVzcvCJVJanuary 19, 2021
We imagine the studio will be pretty busy working on God of War: Ragnarok for the coming year, but it makes sense for the team to start laying the foundations for its next project.
The listing invites applicants to "Join the award-winning team that created God of War", in order to "coordinate large teams of artists across multiple subject areas to execute on the creative promise for a large-scale new project".
The chosen person will need to "Develop the aesthetic pillars of the project", which makes us hope this will be a new IP entirely, rather than a new entry in an existing franchise – but we're speculating, here. The role does require experience in "real-time 3D videogame artwork", and given the studio's expertise in gorgeously-crafted action RPGs, we don't expect the new title to be too different in kind to the studio's recent and current projects.
Given the Santa Monica Studio is owned by Sony, you can be sure it'll be launching on PS5, whatever it is – though a cross-gen launch for PS4 might be less likely a couple more years into the PS5's lifespan.
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Ragnarok and a hard place
God of War: Ragnarok was announced in September 2020, with a vague release window of 2021, meaning it is coming soon.
The brief teaser released so far suggests gameplay isn't ready to be shown off, meaning we're likely looking at late 2021 rather than early 2021 – and it'll probably land after Horizon Forbidden West, which we've had a much more substantial look at. (Sony generally likes to stagger its exclusive games.)
It will be hard for the studio to match the acclaim of the 2018 God of War game, which managed to combine the franchise's blood-thirsty violence with quieter and more introspective characterization than many would have expected from an entry in the series.
Ragnarok will have to be bigger and better as a sequel, likely ramping up the set pieces and action with the capabilities of a new PS5 console – able to render more detail, more enemies, larger environments, and the like – while focusing even harder on the heart of its destructive protagonist. If it can do that, we could be looking at one of the first real must-buy PS5 games.
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