Leading up to the release of PlayStation 5, one of the things that were teased was the sequel to God of War (2018). Unofficially titled, God of War: Ragnarok, the teaser ended with a release window of 2021. This led many to wonder if the game will actually be released sometime this year. We now know that this will not be the case. A new interview with the Head of PlayStation Studios, Herman Hulst has confirmed that the next God of War has been moved to next year. Developer Sony Santa Monica has also confirmed the news with a tweet.
— Santa Monica Studio Is Hiring (@SonySantaMonica) June 2, 2021
Sony Santa Monica Studio said “Since the release of the next God of War teaser last year, we’ve been humbled by the amount of love our community has shown us. We’re incredibly grateful to see so many people excited to experience the next chapter of Kratos and Atreus’ journey. We remain focused on delivering a top-quality game while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our team, creative partners, and families. With this in mind, we’ve made the decision to shift our release window to 2022.”
In a new Q&A with PlayStation Studios Head Herman Hulst, he talked about the challenges that the teams have faced during the pandemic. The major thing he discusses is how they’ve had to adjust when they need specialist locations for doing things like performance capture and audio work. Recently, Sony and Guerilla Games released the first official look at gameplay for Horizon Forbidden West. This along with the next God of War are two very big games in development. Despite the gameplay reveal, a release date has not been announced yet. Herman Hulst says both games are “affected by access to performance capture and talent. For Horizon, we think we are on track to release this holiday season. But that isn’t quite certain yet, and we’re working as hard as we can to confirm that to you as soon as we can. And for God of War, the project started a little later. So we’ve made the decision to push that game out next year, to ensure that Santa Monica Studio can deliver the amazing God of War game that we all want to play.”
The Q&A also talked about how important new IP is to PlayStation, how the PS4 fits in with PlayStation Studios’ development vision, how PC fits into the worldwide view of PlayStation Studios moving forward, and how important Japan is to PlayStation. PlayStation Studios has more than 25 titles in development. Almost half of these are new IP. The other half, they’re titles that are set in franchises that PlayStation fans already know and love.” Sony Bend is one of the developers working on a new IP.
— Bend Studio #DaysGone (@BendStudio) June 2, 2021
“New IP is incredibly important to us. New IP is the lifeblood of gaming, But new IP is just one aspect of our strategy,” Hulst said. “Ultimately, I want PlayStation Studios to be fiercely daring, to take risks. I want us to continue to embrace the legacy of PlayStation, pushing the boundaries of gaming, keep making games that matter. Games that, probably, wouldn’t be made anywhere else.”
Sony will be continuing to support the PlayStation 4. According to them, it will take 3 years for a full transition from PS4 to PS5. Herman Hulst says that they will develop a title for both platforms where it makes sense. The next God of War, Horizon Forbidden West, and Gran Turismo 7 will be available for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. They will also have showpieces for PS5. PlayStation has also been releasing titles for the PC and Herman Hulst says that they will continue to look at the right times to launch games for PC. He did, however, reiterate that the best place to play PlayStation Studios titles at launch is on PlayStation.
The last thing that was discussed in the interview was Japan and if it’s still a focus on development after the shutdown of Japan Studio earlier in the year. “I want to be very clear that Japanese games and Japanese talent remain extremely important to PlayStation Studios and to Sony Interactive Entertainment. Japan and Asia are strongly associated with our legacy: the success of Sony, the PlayStation brand, and many of our iconic PlayStation franchises were actually born in that region.”