His name may have been Stig.
The name “Kratos” has become synonymous with the God of War series since the Spartan hothead has been in every game, but he was almost known by a different name instead. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise to hear that there was a list of potential names for Kratos that would’ve changed what players would call him for years, but what is surprising to hear is that he was almost named after someone who had worked on nearly every God of War game in the series.
The main character of the God of War series is Kratos
But Sony was about to use a different name, one very close to the developer Stig Asmussen.
He recalled in an interview with Game Informer that the marketing team did not like the name Dominus, which is what the developers used as a working name throughout the development.
“Marketing didn’t like that,” Asmussen said.
To obtain a larger group of potential names, the game’s director, David Jaffe, recruited his team to submit their own names for consideration. Asmussen himself presented four or five names (which he did not share), but was surprised when his own name, Stig, returned as a favorite.
Asmussen clarified that he did not add his own name
But the confusion was that he wrote his name on the document with his suggestions so that people would know what his list was. The marketing team apparently thought that Stig was, in fact, one of their names presentations.
“I totally would have been cool with it,” Asmussen said with a laugh.
It was ultimately decided that Kratos would be his name. It’s not clear what other names besides Dominus and Stig were considered.
Another part of the game that was up for debate was the title of it.
In development, the team was making the game with the working title “Dark Odyssey,” which Asmussen recalled that the team “really liked.” However, the marketing department said it “might be too high-brow, and people might not get it,” Asmussen said.
Eventually, they landed in God of War, and that seemed to work. God of War as a franchise and Kratos as the main character have become massive in the game. As Game Informer reminds us, the name “God of War” is a kind of a spoiler, but, again, so was “Return of the King.”
Asmussen had trouble developing all the God of War games, except for the 2018 game. Asmussen is now working on Respawn, where he is leading the development of the new Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order game.
Whether he was known by Kratos or another name, another interesting story about the lead character from God of War 2018’s director Cory Barlog revealed that Kratos was almost scrapped from the series’ reboot entirely in place of another character. Anyway, as always, feel free to leave a comment or two with your thoughts.