Sony Santa Monica revealed the newest God of War during the big PlayStation 5 reveal event and said the God of War Ragnarok release date is sometime in 2021.
Except it really isn’t, is it?
So far, the only first-party PlayStation game with any solid timeline is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, set to release June 11, other than this week's Returnal.
Frankly, we’re probably not going to hear anything about Sony first-party releases until after that.
The first rule of Product Marketing 101 is not to distract people with more than one new product at a time.
Sure, Sony Santa Monica is a separate studio from Insomniac and the rest.
However, they’re all under the PlayStation Studios umbrella and making a big announcement about God of War before Ratchet is out just gives people a reason to save their $70 for something else.
And you can bet they would save it.
The general chatter around Returnal says it looks great, but $70 is a steep ask.
It’s even steeper during a pandemic, so spreading out releases is just good marketing.
There are a few other good reasons why we probably won’t be hearing about God of War Ragnarok much this year.
Horizon: Forbidden West is also supposed to release in 2021.
It’s yet another game we’ve heard next to nothing about since Guerilla released its debut trailer, and while a delay is always possible, it makes more sense to think Forbidden West would release first.
After all, the original Horizon released in 2017, a year before the God of War reboot.
There’s no telling yet how long either game has been in development, but common sense would say Horizon Forbidden West has had longer to cook.
Ergo, it releases first and has longer to deal with any bugs causing delays, assuming COVID work-from-home hasn’t completely derailed development.
That leaves the whole back half of 2021 empty, you say.
2021: The Year of JRPGs on PlayStation?
Square Enix is releasing Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade in early June, before E3.
We know Square Enix is one of the major publishers attending E3, and producer Naoki Yoshida promised more Final Fantasy 16 news sometime in 2021.
FF 16 is currently a PlayStation 5 exclusive, meaning Sony still has something to hype up for the rest of the year, and that’s not even taking Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker into consideration.
It’s not a Sony exclusive, of course, but FFXIV just got a big PS5 update and you can bet it’ll feature in Sony’s marketing for the rest of 2021.
It’s too early to say whether the weebs will feast while Kratos weeps in 2021.
In the absence of any new God of War Ragnarok updates, however, it’s certainly looking like that will be the case.