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'''SIE Santa Monica Studio''' (formerly '''SCE Santa Monica Studio''') is a video game development company and a division of Creator/SonyInteractiveEntertainment. Founded in Santa Monica, California in 1999, they are most famous for developing the ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' series, and are known for their high-production values. And they are usually Sony's go-to studio to help major projects done by third-party developers.

The studio debuted in 2001 with ''Kinetica'', which was met with generally positive reviews. However, the studio really made their name with their BreakthroughHit ''VideoGame/GodOfWarI'', which was universally praised for its advancements in technology and video-game storytelling. ''God of War'''s massive success turned Santa Monica Studio into a household name for Sony and one of the console maker's primary developers. Their next big project, ''VideoGame/GodOfWarII'', was similarly acclaimed by critics and fans, and is generally regarded as the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2's SwanSong.

They then moved on to complete their trilogy with 2010's ''VideoGame/GodOfWarIII'', which further increased their renown. Concurrency, Santa Monica supervised and assisted other game projects led by third-part associates such as Creator/ThatGameCompany and Creator/GiantSparrow. They also co-developed spin-off games of ''God of War'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable with Creator/ReadyAtDawnStudios.

Unfortunately, the studio experienced a sudden decline following the release of their then-newest project, ''VideoGame/GodOfWarAscension''. ''Ascension'' served as a prequel to the trilogy that kicked-off Santa Monica's acclaim, but while the game was positively received, it both became the studio's lowest-rated main project since ''Kinetica'' and suffered from disappointing sales, a first for the franchise. From there, the studio had to lay off some of its employees after they were forced to cancel a new IP they were working on.

After several years of silence outside helping other Sony projects, Santa Monica marked its return to the spotlight with the sudden announcement of a forth ''God of War'' title. Serving as a re-imagining and soft reboot to the franchise, ''VideoGame/GodOfWarPS4'' was formally announced at E3 2016 and released two years later in 2018, becoming a smash hit that brought the studio from the tough place they founded themselves years ago.

The studio is currently working on at least one project, rumored to be a sequel to the 2018 ''God of War''.

Despite still calling itself Santa Monica, the studio is no longer settled there, having moved to Los Angeles in 2014 to allow greater space for their two development groups.
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!!Video games internally developed by this company:
[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' (2005 - current)
** ''VideoGame/GodOfWarI'' (2005)
** ''VideoGame/GodOfWarII'' (2007)
** ''VideoGame/GodOfWarIII'' (2010)
** ''VideoGame/GodOfWarAscension'' (2013)
** ''VideoGame/GodOfWarPS4'' (2018)
* ''Kinetica'' (2001)
[[/index]]
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!!Tropes that apply to Sony Santa Monica and its games:
* AbusiveParents: It would be easier to list which parents in their games didn't abuse their children emotionally and ''especially'' physically.
* ArtifactTitle: They are still known as Sony Santa Monica, despite no longer operating there.
* BloodierAndGorier: The original ''VideoGame/GodOfWarI'' was noted for being far more violent and ruthless than most titles of its time. Each game progressively became bloodier and gorier than the previous one due to advancements in visuals, and Santa Monica also included more elaborate and ruthless killing animations in their games.
** Subverted with ''VideoGame/GodOfWarPS4''; it is still an extremely violent game and possesses more vivid visuals than its predecessors ever had, but it tones down a lot of Kratos' execution moves.
* BreakthroughHit: ''VideoGame/GodOfWarI'' was theirs.
* FaceOfTheBand: As of 2018, game director Cory Barlog became this for the studio. He was already involved with the studio since the early 2000s, even directing 2007's ''VideoGame/GodOfWarII'', but left for Creator/CrystalDynamics in 2012. He returned a year later and directed the [=PS4=] soft reboot, which made him one of the most noted developers at Sony as well as the face of Santa Monica.
* JerkassGods: A staple of their ''God of War'' titles. If there is a god, be sure that there are incredibly high chances for them to be an awful living being that will antagonize Kratos and probably get their skull bashed in afterwards.
* PressXToNotDie
* SceneryPorn: Considered one of Sony's top three developers when it comes to jaw-dropping graphics, alongside Creator/NaughtyDog and Creator/GuerrillaGames.
* StrictlyFormula: Their ''God of War'' games prior to the [=PS4=] sequel mostly adhered to the formula originated with the first game.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Santa Monica was working on a new IP - their first since 2005 - concurrency to ''VideoGame/GodOfWarAscension'', but the title was cancelled a mere year after ''Ascension'' was released.
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