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Interview: God of War III ends trilogy, but not franchise, Sony's John Hight says


While God of War III will conclude the trilogy, it won't spell the end of the franchise, Sony Santa Monica's John Hight reveals in a recent interview with Joystiq. With the third game "capping off what we started with God of War," Hight says we should expect more God of War games to follow, but the decision on where to take the franchise after the initial trilogy (and portable prequel) won't be taken lightly. "We're going to be really careful about what we do next," he assures.

The full interview can be viewed in its entirety above. Select portions of the interview can be read in the following transcription:

Can you explain the new technology that you're showing off today?

So what we've kept under wraps until this time is dynamic environments. It means we can take literally anything in the game, including creatures and in this case, extremely large thousand foot plus creatures, and turn them into an environment that Kratos can now navigate, battle on, engage other creatures on, find treasures, you name it.

Even since the very first God of War, we keep a running list of features that we'd like to have. So you're in the middle of making something ... some of them make it into the game, and some of them get moved to the next game. And this was the case of definitely a feature that the team has thought about for a while, but God of War 3 and the technology of PS3 enabled us to actually build it.

How is this technology different from that employed by Naughty Dog and Uncharted 2?

Ours is a soft-body collision which allows us to take any character, organic character, and turn that into a level. I think that's a pretty unique approach.

We've been working on this for almost two years now. The first part was getting the basic technology down, making that work. Then the next part was discovering "well, now that we have it, how can we make that interesting and fun in a game level?"

This game is bigger than any God of War we've done before. You're going to see a lot of the same kinds of things that our fans have grown to appreciate: puzzles, massive battle sequences, scenes of epic scope where you can literally see out on Greek vistas and incredible architecture, so this is just one more tool in our arsenal where we can now have levels that take place on top of these giant creatures.

Is this really the end of God of War? Wouldn't it be foolish for Sony to end to such a successful franchise?

It is certainly the end of the trilogy. We're capping off the story that we started in God of War 1. Can you expect other things God of War? Yes. We're not going to let it go, just like that. Are we going to proliferate the market with tons of God of War? No. We're going to be really careful about what we do next, and make sure we have something interesting to show and tell.

The God of War Collection revealed a new, dark logo for Santa Monica Studios. Does that represent a new direction or focus for the team?

Certainly God of War is a mature game. It's going to stay mature. We know our audience for that. That doesn't mean as a studio organization, we won't do other games that won't be a little tamer.

How important is the gore to the God of War franchise? Do you believe the excessive violence will generate any controversy?

We may go right up the edge on some of this stuff, not necessarily intentionally. But we're not going to dumb it down, nor are we going to be too gratuitous. We're not specifically chasing controversy. We're not doing these scenes because we're trying to gather press over "oh wow, this is controversial." It's more "hey, this is Greek mythology." If you read these stories, and the battles and the monsters -- I mean, they're classic. You bring those HD and you add a sense of realism to them, and they can be sometimes a little scary and unnerving and that's exactly what we want, that kind of edginess.

Is God of War III really coming out in March?

So far, we're tracking absolutely on schedule. We went beta right before Thanksgiving, so we're in good shape. All the content's done on the game, but we spent a lot of time polishing. We run a lot of play-testers past the game, make sure they're having a good time with it, nothing's too complicated but it's still challenging enough. We're going to be doing that for the next two months.

Editor's note: Video produced by Chad Mumm; interview conducted by Andrew Yoon.

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