Sony’s Santa Monica Studio has announced that God of War Ragnarok, the sequel to the huge God of War 2018 success, has now been delayed until 2022.
The announcement was made on Twitter. The studio explained that it remains focused on delivering a high-quality game that acts as a worthy successor to God of War, but the safety of all those working on it is also a priority. With that in mind, the game’s release is being shifted to 2022 to allow more time for staff to work on the game without the need for crunch.
Head of PlayStation Studios Herman Hults also mentioned the delay in a blog post on the official PlayStation Blog. There, he added that while Sony plans to launch Horizon: Forbidden West in 2021, that window isn’t yet certain. Clearly the company is open to studios delaying their games in the interest of avoiding any sort of overtime crunch, the kind usually seen at the end of most game development cycles.
Hulst also mentioned that Gran Turismo 7 and God of War Ragnarok will be coming to PS4 as well as PS5. Until now it’s been thought that these games were PS5 exclusives. This could be due to the fact that the studios are more proficient at building games for PS4, meaning that version will be ready first. After that, the PS5 versions can be released with enhanced features as most other games are seeing now.
He also pointed out that a user base of 110 million players on PS4 isn’t something Sony wants to walk away from. It’s likely that it will be a very long time before games start to become PS5 exclusives on a regular basis.
Moving forward, where it makes sense to build a game for both PS4 and PS5, that will happen. However, with new IPs such as Returnal, there’s no established franchise with fans to please. In cases like this, it makes more sense to keep the game as a PS5 exclusive, offering that new player base something for them alone.
God of War Ragnarok is a highly anticipated game. If it launches with any sort of bugs or glitches, the fallout would be quite bad. Delaying the game is the best move, but it leaves a huge gap in an already thin release schedule for 2021.