God of War Ragnarok November 9 release date follows controversy and harassment
When it comes to major video game releases of 2022, Sony’s Santa Monica studio “Ragnarok” reigns as one of the biggest fish in an obviously empty pond. The delays caused by covid-19 and the legacy of the disastrous launch of “Cyberpunk 2077” have pushed heavy hitters like Bethesda’s “Starfield” and Nintendo’s sequel to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” into the far reaches of 2023.
This context threatened before the announcement of the release date of “Ragnarok”. Fans waiting for news at last month’s Summer Game Fest were disappointed to see no skin or beard hair from PlayStation’s baddest, most daddy-like mascot. All the while, “industry insiders” of varying (and often dubious) reputation fans excited for a June 30 release date.
The commotion prompted Santa Monica creative director Cory Barlog to ask fans to “please be patient” on Twitter.
The best video games of 2022 so far
The revelation of June 30 did not take place. Fans, seeking release date information, began pestering Santa Monica developers, including cutscene producer Estelle Tigani and writer Alanah Pearce. The first described unwanted advances from fans on Twitter.
“Send me [illicit pictures] asking for the release date of ‘God of War Ragnarok’ will not, in fact, lead me to reveal the release date”, Tigani said on Twitter. “For people who do, when has it ever worked for you?!”
In response, Santa Monica posted a message discouraging harassment.
“Our fans inspire us, and we understand the passion and desire for more information,” the studio wrote. “But that passion should not be toxic or come at the expense of the dignity of any human being.”
This kind of dynamic has played out around many highly anticipated video games, even over the past few weeks. After a trailer for “Return to Monkey Island” revealed that the PC adventure revival would sport a new art style, fans set fire to the comments section of game director Ron Gilbert’s personal blog. Eventually, Gilbert chose to close the comments on his trailer post and said he would not be sharing any more information about the game on his blog.
“The joy of sharing has been driven away from me” Gilbert wrote. “Play it or don’t play it, but don’t spoil it for everyone.”
As a site of information and culture The reverse indicatessome of this is a natural result of the video game industry’s reliance on multi-year drip marketing cycles, which are amplified by an insatiable online content machine that demands fodder for Twitter feeds, YouTube videos and Twitch streams.
“This anticipation market is being used to benefit publishers,” writes Gaming Trends Editor Willa Rowe, “but leaves developers to suffer the consequences.”