“A dream that died.”
On May 10, Sony introduced the documentary Kratos: Rebirth about the process of creating a restart of God of War. It describes the five years of game development – including all the difficulties that Santa Monica Studio employees faced.
At the very beginning of the film, creative director Corey Barlog told about a canceled project that was supposed to be a new IP studio. In 2013, during the development of additions to God of War: Ascension, the team was engaged in creating prototypes for the game, code-named Internal 7 – it had been in preproduction for three years. It was planned that after the release of the DLC the entire main team would be transferred to a new project.
Internal 7 should have been strikingly different from all previous Santa Monica games. She had a futuristic setting: on those concept art that are shown in the film, people in space suits are visible, as well as exotic creatures and extraterrestrial races. Internal 7 was conceived as an exclusive for the PlayStation 4.
I really liked that the new project will be futuristic. The characters had guns. We were going to do something completely new.
Mehdi Yousef chief animator of the gameplay
The concept-art of Internal 7 was already merged into the network at the beginning of 2017 – however, details about the project appeared only now.
Then the studio decided to expand Santa Monica Studio – for this they even built a new huge office in California. It was planned that there will be two teams that are working simultaneously on two major projects: Internal 7 and the new God of War.
However, later, at the beginning of 2014, news appeared about reductions in the studio – and the cancellation of the project on the new IP. Presumably, he never entered the full-fledged development: by this time no more than 20 people were still working on Internal 7.
You know, at that moment it all turned into a dream that died. Literally.
Shannon Studstil head of Santa Monica Studio
It was a real shock. One of the big advantages was the opportunity to work on a new project as part of a small group. In my time there were about 20 people in the Internal 7 group. Therefore, for me it was a very difficult time.
Mihir Shettechnical battle designer
Cory Barlog returned to Santa Monica Studio just shortly before these events – he had previously left the team back in 2007, during the development of God of War III.
Then the reorganization began in the studio: another 110 people joined the project on the new God of War. After that, Sonta Monica Studio completely switched to restart development.