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Thursday, December 7, 2023

God of War PC port isn’t being developed by Sony

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Sony announced last that the previously PlayStation-exclusive god-and-fatherhood sim God of War will be coming to PC, which was very big news indeed. But the PC port won’t actually be developed by Sony, which told Ars Technica that the project is being “overseen” by Sony Santa Monica, but developed by Jetpack Interactive.

Jetpack Interactive isn’t the most immediately recognizable game studio in the world, but its website lists several projects that it has contributed to in the past, including NBA Live 14, 15, and 16, Dark Souls, and Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. Most of that work, however, has been in a supporting role: Jetpack provided engineering support for Garden Warfare 2 and the Dark Souls PC version, the latter of which was notoriously bad, although we can’t pin that on a studio brought in for support. (In fact, From Software is the listed developer—it’s not clear what role Jetpack played.) It also did engineering and UI development support for NBA Live 16. The studio’s only fully-standalone porting effort is actually the reverse of God of War on PC: It ported the PC release of Orcs Must Die! Unchained to the PlayStation 4.

It’s a little surprising that Sony would look to a support studio to handle the God of War port, especially since it now owns the very experienced PC port developer Nixxes Software. “Kratos is Sony’s Mario,” we opined last week after the PC version was announced, and sharing it with non-PlayStation platforms is a very big deal. Another big Sony game, Horizon Zero Dawn, launched on PC last year with serious (and infuriatingly intermittent) performance issues that required multiple patches to solve, and Sony is surely eager to ensure that doesn’t happen again, especially with its big dad game.

Which isn’t to say that Jetpack won’t nail it, and naturally I hope it does. As for how exactly Sony Santa Monica will be involved beyond a vague oversight capacity, that’s not clear. I’ve reached out to ask and will update if I receive a reply.

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