There’s no easy way of saying this, so we’ll just rip off the imaginary Band-Aid: the sequel to 2018’s God of War has just been delayed to 2022. The news was announced by PlayStation Studio, stating that the game is pushed to the next-year release date to ensure that the game’s developer delivers a high-quality sequel to the franchise.
According to IGN’s Twitter post, the news about the God of War sequel’s delay came directly from the head of PlayStation Studios, Herman Hulst, during a Q&A about the studio’s plans for the future. Hulst disclosed that the PlayStation Studios currently has two very big, narrative-driven games in development, referring to the God of War sequel and Horizon Forbidden West. And while the sequel to 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn remains on track with its development, and will likely release during the 2021 holiday season, the new God of War game is rescheduled for a 2022 release for both the PS4 and PS5 consoles.
Hulst later explained that the main reason for the game’s delay lies in the Studios’ limited access to performance capture and talent, which was caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Making a high-quality game such as God of War requires a lot of performance capture and audio work in specialized, physical locations. Sony found a clever workaround to audio capture by building tiny recording studios in people’s houses. However, it’s not so simple with performance capture for in-game cinematics, especially when it involves multiple actors.
Performance capture is a tricky problem to solve and has two possible solutions: either push the release or risk the game’s final quality by doing things differently. And according to Hulst, the studio isn’t going to risk the quality of a AAA gaming title such as God of War. So, though the news of the game’s delay may not sit well with the fans, at least Sony won’t push its development team to a breaking point or risk its profits by releasing a half-finished game like Cyberpunk 2077‘s publisher did. Still, Hulst admitted that the God of War project had a late start and that PlayStation decided to delay the release, allowing Santa Monica Studio to develop a worthy successor to the 2018’s God of War.
Though we won’t see the new God of War game until next year, we will witness its release on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The PS4 has an extensive community counting over 110 million PS4 owners – a market PlayStation Studios rightfully doesn’t want to walk away from. And while it’s essential to showcase the PS5 by releasing new games, releasing a highly-anticipated title to PS4 is good business, especially in the wake of PS5’s disrupted supply. Maybe they’ll even shift to PC releases?
Well, they might. Though PC planning is still in its infancy at PlayStation, the studio showed interest in gaming markets outside of the PlayStation ecosystem, allowing PC gamers to experience PlayStation titles while simultaneously making Sony more money. It’s a win-win. However, most PlayStation titles’ PC releases will be intentionally delayed compared to their console releases. Still, it’s doubtful we’ll ever play God of War on a PC.