The God of War reboot for PlayStation nearly cut Atreus, and now game director has confirmed that there were discussions about doing away with the main hero as well. In an appearance at Gamelab in Spain this week, Barlog said people were telling him that Kratos had to go.
“Early in discussion, people were saying we had to get rid of Kratos,” Barlog said, as reported by Eurogamer. “It was like, ‘He’s annoying, he’s done.'”
Barlog went on to say that Kratos was purposefully designed at the start of the series to be unlikeable. Some people on the team thought it was time for him to go, Barlog said. Developers suggested they create a new protagonist.
In the end, Barlog got his way in part because he came up with a story about Kratos’ evolution and rescuing himself from his dark desires.
Kratos does star in the new God of War for PS4, and his relationship with Atreus was among the most meaningful and interesting elements of the title. “It took a lot of convincing to make them think it was a good idea,” Barlog said about bringing Kratos back.
As we already knew, some people at Sony Santa Monica also wanted to cut Atreus as well. Barlog said it came down to budget concerns, with animators and programmers finding it difficult to “make sense of” Atreus’ part in the story, according to Eurogamer. Barlog said he went as far as to write another story without Atreus “as a back-up.”
For more on God of War, you can check out the GameSpot Audio Logs episode where Barlog breaks down one of the most impactful scenes that almost didn’t happen. Check it out in the video embed above.