God of War director admits they can't compete with Rockstar, Ubisoft, CD Projekt Red

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Avatar image for oliversnyders
#1 Edited by OliverSnyders (149 posts) -

God of War director Cory Barlog explains why Santa Monica will never be able to compete with Rockstar's games.

Source: https://www.gamepressure.com/e.asp?ID=2018

"I was adamant that we couldn’t make an open world game. The cost of entry and the expectation level is so high that we’d never compete. We just don’t have the infrastructure and the systems. I don’t want to do that," Barlog explains.

Polygon: GoW is an open world game lol

For us, not only do we not want to invest in that aspect of it, but to me the world needed to feel large, and not empty, but with surprising moments of discovery. It could feel like there were areas where there’s not a lot going on, and then all of a sudden an entirely new level opens up that you weren’t directed to, that you just discovered.

It already feels empty and the realm design got repetitive and boring.

I think they [Rockstar] were closer to 4,000. We were 300, at peak. At the time I thought the 1,600 that Ubisoft had on Assassin’s Creed was a lot. To do these things, to do the complexity they have, you just need a lot of people.

You can make one such game with a few hundred people. The example of The Witcher 3 contradicts Barlog’s opinion.

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#2 Posted by EyeBoonsEyebrow (280 posts) -

Big dick Cory is just being modest. Sony Santa Monica not only can compete with Rockstar, God of War has beat Rockstar head on in 2018.

I'm glad SSM doesn't do open world anyway. That's something gaming does need more of.

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#3 Edited by xantufrog (11337 posts) -

I haven't played either, but I'd say GoW looks much more interesting to me. I've played too many GTA games and liked every one of them way too little to put Rockstar on a pedestal

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#4 Posted by Blackhairedhero (3235 posts) -

Yet GoW still won more GotY's.

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#5 Posted by cainetao11 (36544 posts) -

@oliversnyders: The world in GoW was empty in a way. Go back and play the original trilogy. There are soldiers and civilians in Ancient Greece running around. Where the fvck is everyone in Scandinavia in the new GoW? These are gods but who worships them? The world is barren of any type of life other than the antagonists Kratos and boy meet.

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#6 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (28995 posts) -

God of War controls beautifully. They can best rockstar any day of the week with just better controls.

Rockstar's controls = Bethesda open world bugs.

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#7 Posted by PC_Rocks (2247 posts) -

Well, GG also admitted in the past that they made HZD because they couldn't compete in the shooter market with games like BF and CoD.

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#8 Posted by jaydan (2265 posts) -

It's a shame Rockstar sets the precedent for other developers to compare themselves to. If Rockstar made better games maybe I'd respect them too.

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#9 Edited by MirkoS77 (14122 posts) -

Apples and oranges. Santa Monica have exceptional talent, they could do so if they so desired with the proper resources and ambition. His statement stems from disinterest, not incapability. They're one of the best studios Sony (and the entire industry) has.

"I don't want to do that"

There it is. Not the same as couldn't.

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#10 Posted by with_teeth26 (9514 posts) -

I loved God of War's structure. great mix of more guided levels and open areas to explore.

i'd still take RDR2 over GoW overall though. its a more impressive package

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#11 Posted by ellos (2023 posts) -

I would imagine Sony will not go for such high budget. There games sell but not in the level of Rock Star.

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#12 Edited by R4gn4r0k (30982 posts) -

I'm pretty sure a game made by 300 people is easier to make a profit from than a game made by 4,000 people.

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#13 Posted by Pedro (34423 posts) -

God of War was good enough for me to complete, the witcher 3 wasn't. So, I reckon they can compete.

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#14 Posted by pdogg93 (1565 posts) -

I’m gonna say it. Open world games for the sake of being open world are annoying and lifeless.

There are so many gaps between the main story line that you’re supposed to fill with your own imagination by riding around aimlessly in an empty world. Examples: RDR2 and Witcher 3.

That being said I love RDR2. God of war was perfect in terms of your ability to choose your own path.

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#15 Posted by pyro1245 (4990 posts) -

Eh... It was probably better as a sprawling non-open world game anyway.

GoW respects your time way more than a Rockstar or Ubisoft game. I don't need it to drag on for 30 more hours.

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#16 Edited by ni6htmare01 (3780 posts) -

God of War was awesome and I can't wait for the next one.. That is sure I need to know!

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#17 Posted by ___gamemaster__ (2667 posts) -

GOW currently sits on the throne this gen. But doubt if they can create a new IP as good as GOW like what rockstar did.

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#18 Posted by Diddies (2395 posts) -

@oliversnyders said:

God of War director Cory Barlog explains why Santa Monica will never be able to compete with Rockstar's games.

Source: https://www.gamepressure.com/e.asp?ID=2018

"I was adamant that we couldn’t make an open world game. The cost of entry and the expectation level is so high that we’d never compete. We just don’t have the infrastructure and the systems. I don’t want to do that," Barlog explains.

Polygon: GoW is an open world game lol

For us, not only do we not want to invest in that aspect of it, but to me the world needed to feel large, and not empty, but with surprising moments of discovery. It could feel like there were areas where there’s not a lot going on, and then all of a sudden an entirely new level opens up that you weren’t directed to, that you just discovered.

It already feels empty and the realm design got repetitive and boring.

I think they [Rockstar] were closer to 4,000. We were 300, at peak. At the time I thought the 1,600 that Ubisoft had on Assassin’s Creed was a lot. To do these things, to do the complexity they have, you just need a lot of people.

You can make one such game with a few hundred people. The example of The Witcher 3 contradicts Barlog’s opinion.

Kojima also said he couldn't compete with Rockstar.

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#19 Posted by Archangel3371 (27894 posts) -

Nothing wrong with knowing one’s limitations.

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#20 Posted by Jacanuk (18429 posts) -

@blackhairedhero said:

Yet GoW still won more GotY's.

Yet, GTA V has sold almost 100million copies.

Which thing do you think the developers and their investors/shareholders want the most? a few meaningless "awards" or a massive sale of the game.

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#21 Posted by Blackhairedhero (3235 posts) -

@Jacanuk: GTAV also cost significantly more to make. GoW has already made massive profits so I'm sure investors are happy with both.

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#22 Posted by JasonOfA36 (1265 posts) -

They don't need to. You can make a great game without blowing the budget sky-high and without super bleeding edge tech. For example, BOTW.

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#23 Posted by Jag85 (13477 posts) -

They obviously can't compete with them in terms of open-world scale, but they're much better at what really matters: the gameplay.

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#24 Posted by Chutebox (44568 posts) -

I'd take GoW over those games every time

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#25 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1475 posts) -

Good lord, mediocrity competing with mediocrity competing with mediocrity. Sad times we live in. Seems like no AAA devs understand good gameplay and structure anymore. Well, Nintendo does. Mario Odyssey > RDR2, GoW, TW3, Ubisoft. I'm hoping Capcom convinces me in the first quarter of the year.

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#26 Posted by BenjaminBanklin (4571 posts) -

If you feel you shouldn't attempt an open world, don't. I think a good chunk of the gaming industry could learn that lesson.

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#27 Posted by rmpumper (607 posts) -

Would rather play GoW than any GTA game, did not even bother to get GTAV for 15 during the last Steam sale because I'm just not really interested in R* games at this point.

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#28 Posted by PC_Rocks (2247 posts) -

@MirkoS77 said:

Apples and oranges. Santa Monica have exceptional talent, they could do so if they so desired with the proper resources and ambition. His statement stems from disinterest, not incapability. They're one of the best studios Sony (and the entire industry) has.

"I don't want to do that"

There it is. Not the same as couldn't.

I was adamant that we couldn’t make an open world game. The cost of entry and the expectation level is so high that we’d never compete. We just don’t have the infrastructure and the systems.

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#29 Posted by DragonfireXZ95 (25239 posts) -
@xantufrog said:

I haven't played either, but I'd say GoW looks much more interesting to me. I've played too many GTA games and liked every one of them way too little to put Rockstar on a pedestal

Same, haven't played either, but God of War looks much more interesting. GTA V was good at best, and I also wasn't a huge fan of RDR. They were good games, but definitely not the exemplary games that people make them out to be.

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#30 Posted by MirkoS77 (14122 posts) -

@pc_rocks: yes, I can read, thanks. Doesn’t negate my point.

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#31 Posted by PC_Rocks (2247 posts) -

@MirkoS77 said:

@pc_rocks: yes, I can read, thanks. Doesn’t negate my point.

Yeah, my bad. I should have taken your words over devs own words.

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#32 Posted by R4gn4r0k (30982 posts) -
@Jacanuk said:
@blackhairedhero said:

Yet GoW still won more GotY's.

Yet, GTA V has sold almost 100million copies.

Which thing do you think the developers and their investors/shareholders want the most? a few meaningless "awards" or a massive sale of the game.

It's about profit, not about revenue.

Games like RDR 2, GTA V and AC need to sell more copies, because they are made by bigger teams.

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#33 Posted by SolidGame_basic (24161 posts) -

As always, people gonna hate. God of War was a phenomenal game. To all the haters - get the game or get over it. K, thanks. :)

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#34 Posted by rrjim1 (1731 posts) -

@SolidGame_basic said:

As always, people gonna hate. God of War was a phenomenal game. To all the haters - get the game or get over it. K, thanks. :)

I did and lost interested real quick, didn't even finish it. Really scratching my head trying to figure out what I missed.

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#35 Posted by Diddies (2395 posts) -

@blackhairedhero said:

@Jacanuk: GTAV also cost significantly more to make. GoW has already made massive profits so I'm sure investors are happy with both.

But GTAV also made much bigger profits. lol

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#36 Posted by Diddies (2395 posts) -

@R4gn4r0k said:
@Jacanuk said:
@blackhairedhero said:

Yet GoW still won more GotY's.

Yet, GTA V has sold almost 100million copies.

Which thing do you think the developers and their investors/shareholders want the most? a few meaningless "awards" or a massive sale of the game.

It's about profit, not about revenue.

Games like RDR 2, GTA V and AC need to sell more copies, because they are made by bigger teams.

But GTA V probably made more profit in shark cards alone than GoW made all together.

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#37 Posted by Blackhairedhero (3235 posts) -

@Diddies: Probably, but the quality of a game and a dev studio usually isn't determined by profit. By that standard mobile game devs are the best in the world.

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#38 Posted by VFighter (4884 posts) -

@oliversnyders: Who's salty alt are you?

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#39 Posted by Diddies (2395 posts) -

@blackhairedhero said:

@Diddies: Probably, but the quality of a game and a dev studio usually isn't determined by profit. By that standard mobile game devs are the best in the world.

Never said that had anything to do with it at all. But you talked about investors and I think investors would be more happy with some of those mobile games or GTA V over GoW. I am not talking about quality of game and I never mentioned that. However, if you want my opinion, I loved GoW, but I have loved GTA V more and have put more hours into it especially with FiveM and mods.

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#40 Posted by deactivated-5c56012aaa167 (2538 posts) -

Not surprising since Rockstar is the most competent open world genre developer.(They are that competent that they don't need to care about SJWs and Political Correctness stuff in their games)

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#41 Posted by MirkoS77 (14122 posts) -

@pc_rocks: or perhaps thought for yourself? They couldn’t do it presently, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t do it.

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#42 Posted by Blackhairedhero (3235 posts) -

@Diddies: I only talked about investors in response to another poster who said " dev awards are meaningless and only copies sold matters"

The bottom line is SSM is a top tier dev that can compete with anyone.

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#43 Posted by OliverSnyders (149 posts) -
@___gamemaster__ said:

GOW currently sits on the throne this gen.

*Witcher 3

@Diddies said:

Kojima also said he couldn't compete with Rockstar.

Can he ? Dude makes cinematic movies.

@vfighter said:

@oliversnyders: Who's salty alt are you?

I could ask you the same question.

@Bread_or_Decide said:

Rockstar's controls = Bethesda open world bugs.

They don’t suck to play. The controls are not fine for you but to say it's shit is meme status.

@Jacanuk said:
@blackhairedhero said:

Yet GoW still won more GotY's.

Yet, GTA V has sold almost 100million copies.

I love when trolls basically calling GTA5, the best AAA selling game and played online by millions of people, unplayable.

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#44 Posted by R4gn4r0k (30982 posts) -

@Diddies said:

But GTA V probably made more profit in shark cards alone than GoW made all together.

So what you are saying is that companies should invest more into microtransactions and grind based gameplay?

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#45 Posted by Diddies (2395 posts) -

@blackhairedhero said:

@Diddies: I only talked about investors in response to another poster who said " dev awards are meaningless and only copies sold matters"

The bottom line is SSM is a top tier dev that can compete with anyone.

I do not think they can compete with the grand scale of GTA. They are talented devs, but even devs such as Kojima said he couldn't compete with the scale and things that go to make GTA alive.

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#46 Posted by Diddies (2395 posts) -

@R4gn4r0k said:
@Diddies said:

But GTA V probably made more profit in shark cards alone than GoW made all together.

So what you are saying is that companies should invest more into microtransactions and grind based gameplay?

Did I say that? Why are you trying to put words in my mouth? I literally said investors like making more profits...plain and simple and shark cards made GTA V A LOT of money.

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#47 Edited by Blackhairedhero (3235 posts) -

@Diddies: Scale is only one factor of a quality game. I love RDR2 but there is some Jankiness there that you do not see in smaller scale high quality titles.

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#48 Posted by Basinboy (13874 posts) -

Thus far I enjoy GOW more than GTAV and all AC games, though I've yet to embark on playing through either TW3 or RDR2.

GOW also crushes those games mechanically. There is little mechanical dexterity necessary to conquer an AC or GTA game.

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#49 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (5091 posts) -

@oliversnyders:

I don't think God of War should even try to compete with Rockstar in regards to open world. Because the series was never about where you can go. I was surprised that GoW4 even had an open world to begin with.

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#50 Posted by Diddies (2395 posts) -

@blackhairedhero said:

@Diddies: Scale is only one factor of a quality game. I love RDR2 but there is some Jankiness there that you do not see in smaller scale high quality titles.

@blackhairedhero said:

@Diddies: Scale is only one factor of a quality game. I love RDR2 but there is some Jankiness there that you do not see in smaller scale high quality titles.

I complete agree that scale is a factor in GTA V, but the GoW team have never done anything like that. It would be a big challenge for them.