With all of the reviews that have already come out, it’s hard to believe that there might have been a time when God Of War Ragnarok was anything less than excellent, and yet, those inside the four walls at Santa Monica Studio had their doubts. In a recent interview with GQ, two of the key figures behind God Of War 2018 and God Of War Ragnarok, Cory Barlog and Eric Williams, the Creative Director, and Game Director respectively, reflected upon the state of the game at various stages through development when questioned about their levels of motivation.
When asked about how you keep motivated through the prolonged development of a game of such scale, alongside the pandemic and other variables along the way, Williams responded with the following,
You gotta stay hungry, right? That’s the one thing that kills this stuff. You have some success and then people think it’s just gonna happen. They forget what it took to get there. When you get to the top, the air is thin – it is rare. You never hear anyone say, “The second time I climbed Everest, it was easy.”
It’s funny, because for some people, the game will come out on 9 November, and on 10 November, they’re gonna be like, “What’s next?” Everybody wants to take a break, but really they’re like, “We’ve got to start building.” When you work with people that are at the apex of what they do, you’re going to get magic. I just came from a room with those people. All I could say to them was, “Thank you.” They were freaking out three months ago, “Holy crap, the game’s not good. What are we going to do?” I can’t even imagine how they feel today. I wish I had a time machine to go back and feel like that.
Considering the size and scope of God Of War Ragnarok, let alone the levels of expectation placed upon the game both internally, and externally, given the success of the 2018 launch, it’s not difficult to see how overly critical you could be on the inside. The nature of game development often means that various systems begin to come online in stages, and this can blur the lines for those involved in the development of a game because the systems that need to gel together often aren’t until the final stages of the project.
God Of War Ragnarok is available now for PS4 and PS5.