Sony Santa Monica Studio's Cory Barlog, director of 2018's God of War, has opened up on why there will only be two games in the series' Norse mythology saga, stating that he wanted to avoid delaying the story's conclusion to a decade after it started.
In an interview with Kaptain Kuba on YouTube, Barlog spoke about why he decided that the story of Kratos and Atreus would be told over just two games, rather than a trilogy or anything longer. "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 a close to a similar time," said Barlog.
"Then if you think a third one in that same [timeframe], we're talking a span of close to fifteen 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… it just feels too long. 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 because most of what we were trying to do from the beginning was to tell something about Kratos and Atreus that the core of the story's engine is really the relationship between these two characters'."
With one storyline being told throughout the two games, Barlog likens the idea of fans being able to play through the series to his own experience of purchasing the Lord of the Rings box set for the first time. "I was able to say, 'Wow, I can sit down and have 13 and a half hours of this experience, playing them one after another, back to back' and I just thought that was fantastic and amazing. So to be able to say, 'Hey man, you could probably start God of War 2018 and then play God of War: Ragnarok and feel like you're getting the entirety of the story'. I kind of want that to happen before my kid is in college."
With a number of modern-day films and games slated for overstaying their welcome or dragging out storylines far beyond a point that feels necessary, many may feel that Barlog's comments about God of War offer a refreshing stance for a series so well received by fans.
God of War: Ragnarok will conclude Kratos and Atreus' story when it releases in 2022. For more on God of War Ragnarok, make sure to check out our dedicated page for the game where you can find out information including why the Norse sequel has seen a change in director and how God of War Ragnarok's world and combat are evolving from 2018's foundation.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN currently replaying through God of War 2018. You can follow him on Twitter.