After the incredible success of God of War in 2018, Ragnarok seemed to go above and beyond. But what did this success cost the developers?
The God of War: Ragnarok The collector’s edition was already sold out only a day after its release. As the Jotnar version is almost impossible to get.
The fact that it’s hard to get copies, along with all the exciting reviews, shows just how great this game is. While this success is great for fans who love the series and Santa Monica studios, who have spent a lot of time perfecting the game, it only did so well because of the developers’ hard work.
inside GQ مقابلة interview (Opens in a new tab)Cory Barlog and Eric Williams, Game and Creative Director of Game, talked about how to make Sony’s biggest game of the year.
Going beyond the scope and success of God of War 2018 is no small feat, especially after going beyond the game 23 million copies sold (Opens in a new tab) earlier this year. The stakes were raised for Ragnarok, and it was all left up to the developers at Santa Monica Studios to deliver a game beyond its predecessor.
“It’s tough,” says game director Eric William. “The team is already kind of burnt out [out]and you ask a lot of them in an already fragile place.”
But that hasn’t stopped the team from pulling off their stops daily, going above and beyond to ensure Ragnarok is at its best. “I’ve played the game probably a dozen times since April, along the way, and in every different place we have,” William says.
It wasn’t the pressure of living up to expectations that hit hard, but like many, Santa Monica studios have been left out of the ordinary by shutdowns and forced to adjust to remote work.
“Working from home is a big wrinkle,” William said. Walking around someone’s desk and seeing something cool that was dead. The team found it difficult to bounce back and make the most of the creativity that comes with working in a group.
Not the first
“If I didn’t get scared, it’s like I’d be fired literally every day because I screwed up,” William said. “I don’t feel like I’m doing it right.” While this demonstrates the great work effort and mindset you need to keep improving your game to the best of your ability, this isn’t far from the norm for many game developers.
Rockstar Studios has been accused of intimidating employees who work Red Dead Redemption II to working unpaid overtime after Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser seemed to boast in an interview with Vulture about “we’ve been working 100 hours a week”.
This interview was followed by a series of complaints from spouses of Rockstar San Diego employees. In an open letter, “if working conditions continue to deteriorate as employees are manipulated by some of the hands that exercise the reins of power at Rockstar San Diego,” spouses of employees will seek legal action.
This is not a stand-alone issue. CD Projekt Red used ‘Crisis’ so the team could meet ‘s late release schedule cyberpunk. At the same time, Naughty Dog has been accused of putting its staff under great pressure to deliver AAA titles like unknown 4 or The Last of Us Part 1.
The reason I’m leaving is because I want to work with only the best. This is no longer a naughty dog. Their reputation for the crisis inside Los Angeles is so bad that it was nearly impossible to hire seasoned animators in the contract game to close the project. As such we were loaded onto animated films.12 March 2020
None of this means that Santa Monica Studios is putting their employees under absurd pressure. Pushing your limits to produce a game like God of War: Ragnarok is not uncommon. “Everyone wants to take a break, but they’re really like, ‘We have to start building,'” William said.
However, as players start to expect more and more AAA titles, pressure is basically put on the developers feet to deliver that, and fans need to be aware of that.