Why is every game franchise a trilogy? For one reason or another, major video game franchises almost always tell their story over the course of three games. Halo, Mass Effect, and Dead Space are three franchises that come to mind, but there are countless others. While many of these games and franchises tell excellent stories within a trilogy, there are others that take it a step too far in trying to force a trilogy to make sure that they can meet that magical number of three.
One franchise that will not be forcing a third game? The new God of War series. While the original games revolving around Greek mythology were told within a series of three major titles, the new games that are set within Norse mythology will stop after two. God of War: Ragnarok is going to be the final God of War game in its current story arc. That doesn’t mean a later game can’t pick up where this one leaves off, but it does mean that the current stories being told will be wrapped up by the end.
For some, this might be a little strange! The most recent God of War received incredible praise for its storytelling and taking the series in a surprisingly mature direction. Why would they only allow that to be two games? The answer? It would take way too much of their time for just one story, potentially 15 years, and that’s just not something any developer wants to commit to. Director of the first game Cory Balrog and director of the upcoming Ragnarok, Eric Williams, explained their reasoning in an interview with Kaptain Kuba on YouTube.
“I think one of the most important reasons is the first game took five years, the second game, I don’t know how long it’s going to take but I’m just going to throw out that it’s going to take close to a similar time to do this and then if you think, a third one in that same [amount of time], we’re talking like a span of close to 15 years of a single story and I feel like that’s just too stretched out. 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. Because most of what we were trying to do from the beginning was to tell something about Kratos and Atreus.”
While some fans may be disappointed to see the developers are planning to move away from the stories within Norse mythology, this is honestly such a breath of fresh air considering how game development is usually handled. So many great franchises in the past have been hampered by the desire to stretch them into a trilogy. A story should always be as long as it needs to be and if the directors of these new God of War games think they can wrap this up in two games then they should do exactly that. Tell the story they want to tell and then go from there.