Studio president Dylan Jobe said it was a “shift in product strategy”, with poor sales of the PS3 exclusive Starhawk presumably at the centre of the reasoning. Lightbox won’t be shuttered, instead, the remaining staff – a “small, focused indie-style team” – will make games for iOS.
“All of the guys at Santa Monica Studio and Sony Computer Entertainment are fantastic people and great to work with,” Jobe said.
“We have had and will continue to have a great relationship with everyone over there. Hell, the PlayStation is why I got into games in the first-place! But now, we’re just that we’re taking LightBox Interactive in a new direction.”
Starhawk faced a brutal beta process, in which players complained about unbalanced play, and a lack of effective marketing from Sony on the game’s release. On the European PSN Store at least, even finding the game was a problem.
Lightbox had a multi-year, multi-game deal with Sony but broke that after Starhawk’s outing. A spokesperson for Sony said the split was “amicably ended” and that the two studios have had a “positive and long-standing working relationship”.
Sony Santa Monica will continue to support Starhawk. We wish all those affected by the cuts the very best of luck finding new employment.