It may be hard to fathom now, but it turns out the latest God of War game almost didn't star the series' hero Kratos, game director Corey Barlog has revealed.
He was speaking in an hour-long post mortem with Stuart Whyte, director of VR Product Development at Sony London at the Gamelab event in Barcelona today as attended and reported by Eurogamer.
Quite early in development, it turns out, there were a lot of voices calling for his removal. 'Early in discussion, people were saying we had to get rid of Kratos. It was like, 'he's annoying, he's done.' Barlog continued: 'They really did not like the character. They wanted a new character. It took a lot of convincing to make them think it was a good idea.'
The turning point was the introduction of, of course, Kratos' son Atreus, although there was some trepidation from higher ups until Barlog pointed to Naughty Dog's uber-successful The Last of Us as an example of a game with a companion character who didn't drag the game down. 'It really needed to boil down to a few simple rules to prevent the player's experience from sucking' Barlog stated.
It turned out to be a great move, and God of War on PlayStation 4 released to much acclaim in 2018, and recently celebrated its first anniversary with a Thank You video.