Instead, series veteran Eric Williams will direct the new game. Williams joined Sony Santa Monica in 2004 and has worked on every God of War game as a designer, specifically focused on combat.
In a post-show stream following Thursday’s PlayStation Showcase, Barlog and Williams said that changing directors was usually a tradition at Sony Santa Monica and that the switch would bring a fresh perspective to Ragnarök.
Williams explained: “It’s always been a tradition here at Santa Monica, to change the directors across the games. We’ve had really good success with that. Corey is the only repeat director and rightfully so: he’s damn good at what he does.”
Barlog added: “The important thing for us is to be able to get a fresh perspective each time, but also a fresh pair of legs in the sense that you’re really exhausted at the end of finishing one of these things. So you’ve got to con somebody else into doing it.”
Cory Barlog directed 2007’s God of War 2 and the acclaimed 2018 PS4 instalment. He was also involved in the story and art for most entries since the 2005 original.
Asked what he’ll be doing instead of Ragnarök, Barlog – who is Sony Santa Monica’s studio creative director – said it was too early to share.
“We’re actually doing a bunch of stuff… it’s really exciting. All of the things that we’re doing and you’re tempted to know what is this, but I don’t really have anything I can talk about right now specifically, mostly because we’re really focused on God of War Ragnarök.”
God of War Ragnarök is a direct sequel to the 2018 God of War game and sees both Kratos and his son Atreus returning. The game is set a few years after the events of the last game, where the freezing winds of Fimbulwinter have come to Midgard.