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God of War reboot nearly left out “annoying” Kratos

by Justin Herrick | July 1, 2019July 1, 2019 12:30 pm EDT

God of War made a name for itself with Kratos, the Ghost of Sparta. Yet the main protagonist from this media franchise nearly missed out on the main series’ reboot last year. Sony built an entire story around Kratos and his graphic style of combat, but apparently, there was a significant amount of feedback in which fans expressed an interest in transitioning away from Kratos and toward a new character.

The studio behind its development, SIE Santa Monica, discovered that fans felt exhausted with Kratos. He appeared in every title in the series released since 2005. It’s not uncommon for protagonists to stick around for many years; however, game director Cory Barlog revealed at Gamelab that Kratos was intentionally designed to be unlikeable.

With an unfavorable approval rating from the outset, Kratos’ image still hasn’t recovered. So the studio had to decide between retiring Kratos or pairing him with another protagonist to carry the story forward. Ultimately, there wasn’t going to be another God of War game lacking any traces of him.

In the interview, Barlog said this about the decision:

“Early in discussion, people were saying we had to get rid of Kratos. It was like, ‘He’s annoying, he’s done.'”

The latest installment, God of War (2018), kept Kratos in the spotlight but ushered in Atreus. The young warrior, who’s actually Kratos’ son, was playable as well. Still, SIE Santa Monica couldn’t decide on whether or not Atreus would remain in the final version. In the end, both Kratos and Atreus remained when the game was released last spring.

It turned out to be a wise decision as the game sold around 10 million copies worldwide. To date, it stands as one of the best-selling games for the PlayStation 4. Collectively, over 30 million copies from more than ten games have been sold. Needless to say, there will be additional titles released in the future that likely include Kratos in some capacity. So fans might want to warm up to Kratos just a little bit.


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Justin Herrick

Justin's interest in the world of gaming started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two decades later he can't take his