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God Of War Ragnarök Will Wrap Story Because Trilogies Take Too Long

Director Cory Barlog thinks 15 years would be too long to bring the story to a close

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Kratos, wide-eyed, staring intently at his son, Atreus.
BOY, did you hear?! Our Norse storyline ends next year.
Image: Sony

Developer Sony Santa Monica has confirmed that God of War Ragnarök will complete the series’ Norse story when it launches next year, wrapping up Kratos’ bout with deities like Freya and Thor in just two games.

In an interview with God of War YouTuber Kaptain Kuba, game director Cory Barlog said that while there are several reasons for Santa Monica to finish up the rebooted God of War series in two games, the main one is time. Barlog specifically mentioned the five years it took to develop the 2018 entry and, assuming it takes the same time for Ragnarök and a possible third game, said that Kratos’ Norse storyline would suffer from being stretched across some 15 years.


“There are several reasons, [but] I think one of the most important reasons is [time],” Barlog said. “The first game took five years. I don’t know how long it’s going to take [to finish the second game], but I’m just going to throw out that it’s going to take close to a similar time, right, to do this. Then if you think ‘Wow, a third one in that same [time frame],’ and we’re talking like a span of close to 15 years of a single story. 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 also said the main focus of the rebooted God of War was to say something about Kratos as a father, and to tell a story about the relationship he has with his son, Atreus. As such, Barlog said Ragnarök game director Eric Williams could totally tell the story he wants in the second game and have that serve as the reboot’s definitive conclusion.


“Given where the team was at and where Eric was at with what he wanted to do, I was like, ‘Look, I think we can actually do this in the second story,” Barlog said. “Most of what we were trying to do from the beginning was to tell something about Kratos and Atreus. The core of the story’s engine is really the relationship between these two characters and 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?’ The ripples get too far apart and you lose the plot a little bit.”

This is in stark contrast to the OG God of War series, which launched in 2005 on PlayStation 2 and saw its trilogy complete by 2010. In the midst of all that and the years that followed, the franchise saw some spin-offs before the reboot dropped in 2018. Ragnarök is the sequel to God of War (2018), and sees Kratos deal with his now-teenage son who may have a love interest in Angrboda, who lit the internet up because, oh no, a Black woman is in a video game. Someone please send help.

God of War Ragnarök releases in 2022 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Here are five other things to know about it, including confirmation that combat will be much more vertical this time around.