God Of War Staff Face Abuse After Ragnarok Delay
It's not just the bald brute Kratos who has trouble controlling his temper. In the aftermath of Santa Monica Studio making the decision to delay God of War: Ragnarok until 2022, there are reports from staff at the company that they're facing a barrage of abuse online. We get that you're mad you won't be able to swing the Leviathan axe at Norse gods in 2021, but seriously, is there any need to take your rage out on the game's developers?
The writing was already on the wall for a God of War release in 2021. Sony's packed slate has upcoming releases for the likes of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Horizon Forbidden West, while the industry famously ground to a halt thanks to COVID-19 last year. Even as studios pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and try to get back to some sort of normality, games being delayed is the "new normal". When it comes to God of War: Ragnarok though, furious fans aren't holding back in making their feelings clear.
Why are the God of War: Ragnarok team facing abuse?
Posting on Twitter, there's a worrying number of reports from Santa Monica Studio staff that they've been getting abusive messages from disgruntled players. In particular, writer Alanah Pearce has shared her experience. Pearce is a relative newcomer to SMS and joined in late 2020 after working for IGN and Funhaus. In one particularly aggressive exchange, a troll said, "Lmaooo you get hired then god of war is delayed first time ever. To [sic] busy dreaming about getting gang r*ped by your all your simp twitch subs to actually do work lmao".
Pearce took the abuse in her stride and shared the message alongside the chipper caption: "Aside from the ones I got for being hired in the first place, I think this is my first game-dev-related abusive message. I’VE FINALLY BEEN INITIATED, LOOK AT ME GO!". Thankfully, the Twitterverse was largely on her side as people agreed no one should face this kind of abuse online - let alone for the delay of a video game.
While we actually see it as a good thing that SMS is spending a little longer in the development kitchen to make sure Ragnarok is cooked all the way through, it's easy to share frustrations with those who can't wait to jump back into this icy tundra that made 2018's God of War more than just a change of scenery and cash-grab reboot for the Ghost of Sparta. Then again, it's hard to get on board with those who are actively trying to make the life of the team a misery.
What have others said about the God of War abuse?
The tirade of abuse hasn't gone unnoticed, with God of War Directory Cory Barlog stepping in to take the fall. Barlog told angry gamers to direct their hatred towards him. Quoting Pearce's tweet, Barlog added, "For real, y’all, this is some BULLSH*T! You want to be mad at somebody for ANYTHING GOW related - the delay, ps4/5, trolls, subtitle size, Sigrun, whatevs - be angry with me. I made the calls. I did this. Don’t bother the team, they are all very good people doing great work".
Some clocked that God of War: Ragnarok might be delayed when it was missing from a PS5 ad last November. Unfortunately, Barlog throwing himself under the bus is unlikely to smooth things over. Even if the abuse being sent toward Pearce and others might only represent a small part of the community, it's still a horrible turn of events. While Pearce seems pretty thick-skinned and able to brush it off, not everyone has the same mentality.
Since Sony announced the Ragnarok delay, opinions have been divided. Some have been understanding about the delay given the current climate, while others have called out SMS for not making an announcement sooner. Remembering how many times Cyberpunk 2077 and Halo Infinite were delayed, it's not exactly the end of the world. However, the way some people are acting, you'd think it's the actual Ragnarok (end of days) that's destroyed their lives.
Images via Sony Interactive Entertainment