GoW III producer: “Don’t do anything just to be controversial”

Wednesday, 17th March 2010 15:16 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Steve Caterson, senior producer at Sony Santa Monica, has told Gamasutra that the violence in God of War III was all part of Kratos’character and the storyline, and had nothing to do with being sensationalist or controversial just for the sake of it.

“The violence question is something we always take very seriously, and we recognize the controversy involved in those works and decisions,” Caterson told the site.

“I think we tried very hard to follow one of our key guidelines that was set out when we were making God of War, and that was, ‘Don’t do anything that doesn’t fit the character’. Anything that relates to the character, as the situation evolves the character and pushes the character forward — those kinds of things you need to do and should not be shied away from.

“Don’t do anything just to be sensationalist. Don’t do anything just to be controversial. There should be a purpose and a reason for the actions and the depictions shown on-screen.

“That was the guideline that we set for ourselves and one that we tried very hard — and I think successfully — to follow in the first two products. The same thing applied for God of War III.”

When comparing the developmental prowess of PS3 compared to PS2, which the last iteration in the series was launched on, the team found that the “graphical fidelity” it was able to accomplish not only impressed the team but make it worry a bit as well.

“[We were like] ‘Hey, look! We can split a centaur from stem to stern and still have insides falling out!’”, Caterson reminisced. “And it was like, ‘Whoa, we can actually do that?’ And then the question was, obviously, ‘Should we do that?’

“It definitely heightens the level of brutality, but after careful consideration and viewing it and experiencing it, it became obvious that Kratos is a very brutal guy, and what he does is very brutal. We want that to be a part of the experience, and there are a few things we actually pulled back on.

“There were conversations held at a variety of levels, [E3] confirmed for us that we were on the right track and we were doing what was right for the franchise and was right for the character.

“It also confirmed for many of the doubters internally that, ‘You know, they’ve got a handle on this. They’re pushing the limit, and they are going to the edge, but the games have always done that.’

“We’ve always tried to take it as far to the edge as we could.”

God of War III was released yesterday in North America, and lands in the UK this Friday.

Yesterday, it was reported by the LA Times that PS3 shortages could hinder sales of the game.



  1. DeSpiritusBellum

    Errrrr…. Right…..

    When I think God of War the first thing that comes to mind is gratuitous violence, that’s the main draw of the old games for me, and I’d be pretty surprised if these innocent little boyscouts weren’t very well aware of that.

    I think it’s a wimp move to pretend like you’re just adhering to some “art style” that apparently comes out of nowhere, because “this guy happens to be violent”. You’re doing it because it’s awesome and we all love it. When are games developers going to start standing up for themselves instead of cowering behind bullshit cliches like that?

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Eregol

    I wouldn’t call it gratuitous violence really.

    The Spartans were a bloodthirsty race, so it only makes sense that Kratos would be as violent as he is.

    Considering the game is set in Greece and it’s a hack and slash game then it’s kind of par for the course.

    Bayonetta wasn’t without it’s gore. The fact that as you beat the angels bits came off of them leaving them looking like skeletons with muscles dangling off them is often forgotten.

    I also think Splatterhouse is going to be (and the original might of been) worse in a gratuitous sense than GoW3.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. DaMan

    comparing Bayo stylish violence to this is like comparing her ‘sexiness’ to Dead or Alive.

    read some of the interviews with Kamiya, unlike this guy he actually explains everything. sure, it was also intended to sell the game, but it’s secondary.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Sini

    If only the story didn’t suck, I love these games to death, but I don’t even remember why Kratos wants his revenge against Zeus. Also, this is the second game that Kratos screams about how badly he wants his revenge and that nothing will stop him… that gets boring. I liked/he was more interesting in the first God of War game. He was kinda human back there, now it’s all about I KILL U ALL! I WANT REVENGE!!!1!two

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Eregol


    Kratos wants revenge because he is Zeus’ son and this knowledge was kept from him.
    He killed his family when filled with Bloodlust by the then God of War Ares. Although he got his revenge, the gods didn’t fulfil their promise of ridding him of the nightmares of that time, despite all his service to them.
    Zeus then tried to kill him for no other reason than he was doing what he was doing. Creating War.
    Although it turns out, this is a vicious cycle. Zeus’ father Cronos tried to kill Zeus, and Zeus believed this would also happen to him, so decided that Kratos had to die.
    Why he decided to spare Hercules then doesn’t really make sense.

    *Spoliers end*

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Alakratt


    If you don’t ‘get’ why he’s so pissed at Zeus and the gods in general then you should replay the 2nd game. That’ll refresh your memory and then everything will make sense to you.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight


    You didn’t actually play the game did you? Pretty apparent because you asked why is Kratos going after Zeus. Hell they show it to you through the opening scene.

    Dante’s Infernal is all about the gratuitous violence, a hundred story woman lactating unbaptized babies that have their arms chopped off and replaced with swords.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Stephany Nunneley

    For some reason, I though we killed Zeus in the last game….

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Eregol

    Nah he got away.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Stephany Nunneley

    The bastard!

    #10 5 years ago
  11. mington

    i’m sure he speaks highly of you

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Sini

    Really? I would think I specifically said I did, which would imply I simply forgot considering it was years ago.
    But yes, now I remember it. Kratos acting like a spoiled child, getting his hand slapped, and now we’re suppose to listen to him screaming on top of his lungs about revenge. Second game in a row now. Like I said, the first game had much better story, which went down the crapper in the sequel. There is nothing interesting about the revenge story of a spoiled brat.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Eregol

    I thought I explained what’s wrong with Kratos in detail.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. pha1r

    I wonder who they were refering to in this interview.
    *cough*No Russian*cough*.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. DeSpiritusBellum

    @2 You’re attaching a game to reality, which is almost always the wrong way to go. Of course it has to be violent, it’s called a beat ‘em up for a reason, but the fact that it has those awesome finishing moves has nothing to do with historic fact; that’s my point – It’s there because it’s awesome and it thrills us. If you tried moves like that on a bronze age battlefield, assuming you had the strength to do it, you’d be cut down where you stood before you were done.

    I’m pretty sure everybody who’s played God of War can recognize that it’s mostly violence for violence’ sake, and that’s part of what makes it cool. I don’t see why anyone in a creative profession should have to apologize for it, in a part of the world where freedom of expression is a basic human right. If you look at any other artforms they’ve been focused towards violence and debauchery from the word go, because that’s something that speaks to us.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. The_Deleted

    You can’t bitch about Kratos moaning, it’s all one story broken up into a trilogy.
    You might as well moan about that fucking hobbit and his twatting Ring.

    Which I have on many an occasion, to be honest.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Stephany Nunneley

    I just moan about Hobbits because they bug the piss outta me in general. :-D

    #17 5 years ago
  18. TheWulf


    Even more than gnomes? I honestly didn’t think there could be a more annoying creature than a gnome! And I’m not just talking Blizzard’s sort here, either, but every gnome, everywhere, everywhen.

    Hobbits are tame by comparison, though they were better envisioned by D&D (halflings).

    #18 5 years ago
  19. CptKurk

    So the violence isn’t there to be sensationalist or controversial, it’s there because it’s part of Kratos’s character. But what if one were to ask: “Is Kratos’s character not sensationalist and controversial?”

    Of course, the developers will be living on a different planet – or a different dimension – by now.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Michael O’Connor

    God of War producer in “hypocritical bullshit”. More at eleven!

    #20 5 years ago

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