Image: Santa Monica Studio

The original God of War was a massive success that spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs, but God of War (2018) and its upcoming sequel, God of War Ragnarök, will not be receiving the same treatment.

God of War (2018) director Cory Barlog explained the reason for this in a new interview with YouTuber Kaptain Kuba alongside Santa Monica Studio colleague Eric Williams, who’s in charge of the new sequel that’s in development for both PS4 and PS5 consoles.

According to Barlog, God of War Ragnarök will wrap up the Norse story because Santa Monica didn’t want fans to have to wait years to see what fate had in store for Kratos and his son, Atreus. A God of War game takes at least five years to develop, so stretching the story out into a trilogy would have resulted in a saga that took a decade and a half to tell and ultimately conclude.

“I think one of the most important reasons is the first game took five years, the second game, I don’t know how long it’s going to take but I’m just going to throw out that it’s going to take close to a similar time to do this, right, and then if you think, wow a third one in that same [amount of time], we’re talking like a span of close to 15 years of a single story and I feel like that’s just too stretched out,” Barlog explained.

“I feel like we’re asking too much, to say the actual completion of that story taking that long just feels too long, and given sort of where the team was at and where Erik was at with what he wanted to do, I was like look, I think we can actually do this in the second story.”

“Because most of what we were trying to do from the beginning was to tell something about Kratos and Atreus, that the core of the story’s engine is really the relationship between these two characters and the complexity radiates out like ripples in a pond.”

“And we could make it an ocean and make those ripples go for thousands of miles, but is that necessary and is that beneficial, or are we feeling like it’s just spreading it too far apart, the ripples get too far apart, and you sort of lose the plot a little bit.”

God of War Ragnarök will be released exclusively for PS4 and PS5 consoles in 2022. A gameplay trailer released during last week’s PlayStation Showcase suggests that the game will look and play very similar to the original, which should suffice based on the critical acclaim that the 2018 title received. Unlike the original, God of War Ragnarök will allow players to traverse all of the nine realms, which include previously locked locations such as Vanaheim and Asgard, home of Odin and other Aesir gods.

Source: Kaptain Kuba (via VGC)

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  1. So, in other words, you’re not talented enough to give your game the next-gen features that most of today’s future games are dev with and no 35hrs+ story-driven completion like AC: Vahalla, RDR2, etc. because instead, you’ll narrate down to just ~14hrs are so to keep milking the fans into the next GoW that you’ll just use many assets from Ragnarok, huh?!

    Gotcha! 😏

  2. Sounds like the most recent installments weren’t successful enough to warrant follow ups. That’s what I’m getting from that.

  3. Yeah, you have a solid point there, Dan, but GoW (2018, weird this site won’t allow you to post links but I get it) sold over 20M units and, IMO, I just think Corey just needs to replace, entirely, from the GoW franchise moving forward.

    It is super clear that Barlog is no longer the visionary for the franchise and he is burnt out of the GoW entirely (I mean, since 2005) which contributes to disasters and Sony just needs to remove him.

    That is why gamers do not need to get attached/fans to studio heads, etc. because our focus should be on the game solid dev/support/gameplay/etc. not the name behind the scenes because everyone is expendable/replaceable.

  4. I dunno, afaik, the God of War series have never been 30+ hour long story epics, but shorter action game affairs. I thought the story in PS4 GoW was excellent – even if it wasn’t terribly long or complex.

    With that said, I can’t see Sony just letting up on a cash cow like God of War. I wouldn’t be surprised that this is indeed the ‘conclusion’ of their Norse story involved Kratos, but they’ll keep it going with Atreus starring in spinoffs/side projects.

  5. My thing is, Barlog appears to be exhausted working on GoW (remember, early entries for the Assassin Creed series campaign length were only 14-16hrs too but now, way over 35hrs+), a game’s narrative story that is already written out for him to just, literally, copy-n-paste from established mythology novels, archives, or heck, just watching TV Shows or MCUs Thor movies and get some ideas and just add his final spin to Go compared to just nothing and need to create everything from scratch like RDR2, etc.

    Barlog just needs to fully pass along the torch for GoW and Sony needs to replace him ASAP.

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