God of War
God of War

What I Think Is Happening with God of War Ragnarok

Last month, a Guerilla Games representative wrote a blog post discussing the God of War easter eggs hidden throughout their recent game, Horizon Forbidden West. It was a friendly nod to its PlayStation brethren, however, to some fans, it was a stark reminder of God of War Ragnarok’s uneasy 2022 release date. At the time, the last official mention of God of War was about seven months ago via a gameplay trailer. It’s saddening and worrisome that such an anticipated game has seen so little marketing as the 2022 year inches closer to its end. Ever since Ragnarok was slated for 2022, fans, who are accustomed to video game delays, did not expect it to come out on time. Knowing that fans were eager to learn more, Cory Barlog, video game director and face of Sony Santa Monica, assured fans with a brief video

In the video, Barlog stood in front of a golden Kratos statue and thanked the team at Sony Santa Monica and the fans for the passion and effort directed toward God of War before addressing the elephant in the room. 

“We are perfectionists. Everyone’s tightening up the graphics on level three, there is so much going on right now that I just wish that we could share with you, but it’s just not ready to be shown. But I guarantee you that the moment, the very second, that we have something that we are ready to share, we’re going to share it.”

Three days after the video, Bruno Velazquez, an animation director for the God of War sequel, posted a tweet in response to a fan inquiry stating “Ragnarok is coming this year.” This eased some worries amid the comments that Ragnarok was, indeed, not coming this year. Oddly, the Tweet influenced a dumb fanboy war in the comments, with Sony fanboys accusing “Xbots” of claiming the game was delayed and Xbox fanboys returning with silly gifs of a Sony fan having a temper tantrum. This is a stupid debate. As if God of War Ragnarok coming out in 2022 will finally win the “console war.” My thought process is not influenced by console patriotism, however, I do think God of War Ragnorak is coming out this year. 

I was a lot less optimistic before this Tweet, but it’s difficult to see why Velazquez would make such a definitive statement and excite fans if there was any chance for another delay. He must know the weight of making such a statement. Velazquez could have easily said something like we hope to hit our 2022 deadline, instead, he left no wiggle room: “Ragnarok is coming this year.” 

Additionally, I believe Sony Santa Monica is much further into development than we may think. Ragnarok has the benefit of reusing assets and animations from the first game, giving them a headstart in the development process. Along with this, I anticipate that Ragnarok won’t have any significant visual updates from the first game, being that the original gameplay trailer looked more like an end-of-life PS4 game than a PS5 game. I’m not necessarily saying this makes development any easier, but it may speed up the process since Sony Santa Monica is working with the same engine and not starting from scratch. Also, the original release date was 2021 when it was first announced in 2020, signifying that the team made enough progress to believe they could hit the 2021 date.

Lastly, I think Sony would want a big holiday release for the PS4 and PS5, especially with Starfield, the Xbox exclusive RPG, slated for November. While Sony is not in a bad spot, sales-wise, Ragnarok would still re-energize the PlayStation fandom after a barren year (Horizon Forbidden West is the only staple PlayStation release) and launch Sony into 2023 with a steady foundation. Now, if this is true, then why haven’t we heard anything about God of War Ragnorak?

I think the answer is in Barlog’s video address – “we are perfectionists.” 

The team at Sony Santa Monica wants to make sure everything is perfect before revealing anything to the public. They know the weight this game holds, and they want to live up to the expectations of the demanding fanbase. Plus, they undoubtedly care a lot about the franchise and don’t want to show God of War, if it doesn’t look anything less than perfect. Unfortunately, if I am right in saying Ragnarok will release in 2022, then the team is probably under a lot of pressure from Sony. If they want and absolutely have to, Ragnarok will be delayed, but, maybe, Sony is pushing against such an event. If you take a dedicated team, pressures from the outside, and a looming release date, then it’s safe to assume the team is working through a difficult crunch period. 

Suffice it to say, I think the team at Sony Santa Monica is working overtime to perfect a game that’s nearing completion. They have a deadline and pressure from inside and out to make it happen. Sometimes we forget when we enter silly internet console wars, that there are people behind the game; humans that love their craft and are worked to death because of it. I  do believe God of War Ragnarok will release in 2022, but at a great price. 

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