Asmussen joined Sony Santa Monica from Midway in 2003, serving as a lead environment artist on the first God of War and art director on God of War 2. He stepped up to creative director on God of War 3, and it's speculated he then began work on a new, unannounced AAA project with a sci-fi theme. According to ex-lead level designer Jonathan Hawkins, who lost his job in the layoffs, that project is now canceled after several years of development.
Asmussen isn't Sony's only high-profile departure of the week, after Infamous: Second Son lead designer Jaime Griesemer revealed he's no longer working for Sucker Punch. He joined the Seattle-based studio back in 2011, having previously worked at Bungie for twelve years where he was involved with all the Halo games, and served as a lead game designer on Destiny between 2008 and 2010. Griesemer didn't give any reasons for the move, simply tweeting he's "Not really talking about it yet, tho."
Update: Griesemer provided Joystiq with a statement regarding his leaving Sucker Punch, assuring fans the timing is not a "cause for concern" about Infamous: Second Son. The full statement follows:
"I appreciate all the well-wishes on the news that I am leaving Sucker Punch, but please don't take the timing as cause for concern about Second Son – it's a great game that I am proud to have on my resume and I can't wait for everyone to play it – or Sucker Punch – a studio on the rise with a bright future – or Sony – a great organization with some of the savviest, most pro-gamer executives in the business. And while I am honored to be mentioned in the same articles as legendary designers like Amy Hennig and Stig Asmussen, please don't look too hard for some sinister pattern.
The truth is that any creative, vibrant industry is necessarily volatile; the only sure bet is that the next few years will not look the same as the last. Change is part of the job, but along with the upheaval and uncertainty, there's opportunity and new challenges. It's an exciting time to be a free agent and I'm going to go see what's out there. Simple as that..."