“And given where the team is at and where [director Eric Williams] is at with what he wanted to do, I was like, I think we can actually do this in the second story.”
“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. And then you think, ‘Wow, a third one…’ we’re talking a span of close to 15 years of a single story. And I feel like that’s just too stretched out. I feel like we’re asking too much to say the actual completion of that story, taking that long, just feels too long,” Barlog said.
From the beginning, Barlog wanted to tell a story about Kratos and Atreus–they are the “core of the story’s engine,” as he put it. The complexities that stem from that relationship have plenty of room to grow, but Barlog didn’t want to stretch things too far.
Being able to condense the God of War Norse saga story into two games is similar to how you could sit down and watch all the Lord of the Rings films and feel like you were told a complete story that had a strict beginning and end.
“The complexity radiates out, like ripples in a pond. We could make it an ocean, and have those ripples just go for thousands of miles. But is that necessary and is that beneficial, or are we feeling like you know what, it’s just spreading it too far apart?” Barlog said. “The ripples get too far apart and you sort of lose the plot a little bit.”
“Being able to condense it and feel like that experience I had when I got the extended edition box set of The Lord of the Rings, and I was able to say, I can sit down and have like 13.5 hours of this experience playing them one after another back to back, and I just thought that was fantastic. Amazing,” he said. “So to be able to say, you could start God of War 2018 and then play God of War Ragnarok and feel like you’re getting the entirety of the story. And I kind of want that to happen before my kid is in college.”
Barlog also said a two-game arc for the God of War Norse saga felt right for what Eric Williams, the new director, had in mind for the game.
While Ragnarok is the final entry in the Norse saga, Barlog said he plans to make a “big splash” with a different project as his next game, though he didn’t share any details.
Ragnarok launches in 2022 for PS4 and PS5. For more, check out GameSpot’s roundup of everything we know about God of War Ragnarok. GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.