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God Of War's Norse Series Was Almost A Trilogy

The "God of War" series has transformed substantially between its original run and its current iteration, most notably in its change from a Greek mythological setting to one based on the Norse mythos. Throughout the original "God of War" trilogy for the PlayStation 2 and 3, players see Kratos take a reckless path of vengeance, but the Kratos we meet in Midgard is a more patient, more restrained warrior god. This new Kratos won't be around forever, though, as the team at Santa Monica Studios revealed last year that the Norse saga of the "God of War" series would only comprise two games: 2018's "God of War," and "God of War: Ragnarok."

In an interview with YouTuber Kaptain Kuba, "God of War" 2018 director Cory Barlog and "God of War: Ragnarok" director Eric Williams talked extensively about the game's development — including the decision to limit the Norse saga to just two titles. According to a behind-the-scenes look at "God of War: Ragnarok," though, the Norse arc was almost a trilogy, as the team at Santa Monica Studios heavily debated whether to go with two or three games when conceptualizing this fresh, complete "God of War" story.

Ultimately, it was up to Cory Barlog to pursue a trilogy or not

Lead story writer Rich Gaubert and senior narrative producer Ariel Angelotti spoke on the team's decision to go with two games towards the end of the behind-the-scenes look at the "God of War: Ragnarok" story. "Whether the Norse saga was going to be a trilogy or just two games was something we debated a lot," he said, "there were obviously pros and cons for either approach." 

After the team waited for his input, director Cory Barlog said, "Let's do it in two." After this, Angelotti said that one result of this decision is the difficulty of completing the story in just one game "and do 'Ragnarok' justice", which led to "Ragnarok" being considerably larger and denser than 2018's "God of War."

During his 2021 interview with Kaptain Kuba, Barlog pointed out that the first game and "Ragnarok" took five years to develop each, and a third game in the saga would make it "a span of close to fifteen years on a single story, and I feel like that's just too stretched out." Barlog referenced the experience of watching "Lord of the Rings" back to back, and how he wanted to let players experience the entirety of the "God of War" story in less time. With the game releasing soon, fans are eager to tie up the loose threads and mysteries of the "God of War" storyline.