God of War director Cory Barlog condemned the harassment that a Sony Santa Monica developer has received.
Alanah Pearce, who joined Sony Santa Monica as a writer last year, shared messages sent to her by a troll, who somehow convinced themselves that the Ragnarok delay was one individual's fault. This type of harassment is by no means uncommon in the games industry, particularly for women, and Barlog didn't hesitate to bury it.
"You want to be mad at somebody for anything [God of War] related - the delay, PS4/5, trolls, subtitle size, Sigrun, whatevs - be angry with me," he said in a tweet. "I made the calls. I did this. Don’t bother the team, they are all very good people doing great work. Every single human at the studio is there specifically because they are fucking exceptional at what they do. We are better because of them. Hell, I am lucky anyone is willing to lend their talent and intellect to my bullshit. For some reason they do and I love them for it."
If anything, the most reasonable explanation for Ragnarok's delay would be the coronavirus pandemic which, as Playstation Studios head Hermen Hulst explained, severely impacted Ragnarok because it limited access to motion capture and other recording facilities on top of displacing the team. The same can be said of Horizon Forbidden West, which has yet to confirm a 2021 release date, but is at least in the "final stages" of development.
The PS5 production and distribution bottlenecks caused by the pandemic may also have influenced Sony's plan to make Ragnarok a cross-gen release. Sony never confirmed that the sequel would be a PS5 exclusive, so it's very plausible that a PS4 version has always been planned (and indeed, recent reports around other cross-gen decisions support this). Even then, the PS5's constrained install base would have made the 110+ million PS4s already out in the wild an even more appealing way to expand Ragnarok's potential audience.
Here's everything we know about God of War 2 at this point. Hint: its official name might not be God of War Ragnarok after all.