SCEA Santa Monica says balance of multiplayer and single player hurt God of War: Ascension

By Ural Garrett , Updated Jun 20, 2013 11:00 PM EDT

God of War: Ascension was a disappointing entry for the series more known for its brutal action and incredibly involving story.

The reasons were quite obvious.

Though reviews were solid, they paled in comparison to previous entries in the God of War series. Financially, God of War: Ascension only shifted 360,000 units during its first month compared to God of War 3's 1.1 million. According to reports, development cost for the series prequel hit between $40 - $60 million.

Then there was the "Bros Before Hos" trophy that many gamers saw as misogynistic.

In a postmodern look into God of War: Ascension's development by Gamasutra, senior producer Whitney Wade and director Chacko Sonny of SCEA Santa Monica gave their reason for the game's failure while highlighting some of its positives.

Critically, God of War: Ascension's biggest complaint was the lackluster multiplayer and its effect on the series' normally strong single-player offering. According to the article, the two heads mentioned that "shared leadership for single and multiplayer teams slowed progress."

"We juggled this [single and multiplayer] through the entire project, which also resulted in slower decision- making than desired on most everything," read the article. "Luckily, our team was able to keep the various balls rolling, but we can imagine it was very frustrating for them to have that pressure and lack of leadership from the lead producer and game director."

Because of the multiplayer feature, code that normally lent itself to a then exclusively single player game had to be reworked.

"While many of the systems that were improved for God of War: Ascension built upon successful systems from prior games, some features, not least of which was multiplayer, required substantial rewrites that took longer than expected, and we couldn't deliver those mechanics until well after key deadlines," read the article.

Though disappointed by multiplayer's effect on the series, the heads of felt as if the addition "brought new life to the franchise."

God of War Ascension was released in March.

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