It's taken Sony Santa Monica nearly five years to reinvent the iconic God of War series, and arrive at the 2018 reboot. Though the developer had intended for the second game to spend less time in development, God of War Ragnarok is already targeting a 2022 release - four years after its predecessor.
This is one of the main reasons why the studio is ending the Norse saga with Ragnarok, rather than spread it out over three games as is typical.
In an interview with YouTube Kaptain Kuba, the reboot's director Cory Barlog explained that given how long each game has so far taken to make, a full trilogy with a single story would have likely spanned roughly 15 years.
"I feel like that's just too stretched out. Like, I feel like we’re asking too much, to say the actual completion of that story taking that long just feels too long, and given sort of where the team was at and where Eric was at with what he wanted to do, I was like, look, I think we can actually do this in the second story," he said.
"Because most of what we were trying to do from the beginning was to tell something about Kratos and Atreus. The core of the story’s engine is really the relationship between these two characters," he added.
"And the complexity radiates out like ripples in a pond. We could make it an ocean and have those ripples just go for thousands of miles. But is that necessary and is that beneficial, or are we feeling like, you know what, it’s just spreading it too far apart. The ripples get too far apart, and you sort of lose the plot a little bit."
It's not exactly clear what the plan is post-Ragnarok. Kratos could carry on and move to a different culture, but Santa Monica may also want a full reinvention with an entirely new lead.
At the recent PlayStation Showcase, we got our first look at the stunning God of War Ragnarok through a fairly lengthy gameplay trailer that also revealed a number of characters that will feature in the story. Ragnarok is a bigger game than its predecessor, allowing access to all nine realms.