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God of War director says delay ‘is on me’ as developer receives vile abuse
Cory Barlog tells unhappy players to target him
God of War creative director Cory Barlog has said responsibility for the PS5 sequel’s direction ultimately lies with him, following negative reactions to recent announcements about the title.
Publisher Sony confirmed earlier this week that it has delayed the release of God of War Ragnarök from this year to 2022 and that the game will be released for PS4 alongside the previously announced PS5 version.
Following the news, Sony Santa Monica developer/writer Alanah Pearce was targeted with vile online abuse, leading Barlog to jump to the defence of his colleague and the wider development team.
In an impassioned series of tweets, Barlog said people unhappy with recent developments should target him and not the “exceptional” staff at the studio.
“You want to be mad at somebody for ANYTHING GOW related – the delay, ps4/5, trolls, subtitle size, Sigrun, whatevs – be angry with me,” he wrote. “I made the calls. I did this. Don’t bother the team, they are all very good people doing great work.”
The follow-up to 2018’s PS4 exclusive God of War was announced via a brief teaser last year for release on PS5 in 2021, although little more had been heard about the project until this week.
Explaining the decision to delay the game on Wednesday, developer Sony Santa Monica Studio said: “Since the release of the next God of War teaser last year, we’ve been humbled by the amount of love our community has shown us.
“We’re incredibly grateful to see so many people excited to experience the next chapter of Kratos and Artreus’ journey.
“We remain focused on delivering a top-quality game while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our team, creative partners and families. With this in mind, we’ve made the decision to shift our release window to 2022.”
PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst touched on the decision to bring the game to PS4 in a PlayStation Blog interview this week.
“You can’t build a community of over 110 million PS4 owners and then just walk away from it, right? I think that’d be bad news for fans of PS4, and frankly not very good business,” he said.
“Where it makes sense to develop a title for both PS4 and PS5 — for Horizon Forbidden West, the next God of War, GT7 — we’ll continue looking at that. And if PS4 owners want to play that game, then they can. If they want to go on and play the PS5 version, that game will be there for them.”
Promoting the PS5’s launch last November, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan refused to comment on whether God of War Ragnarök would be released for PS4 as well as the newer console.