You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘God of War’ Director Explains Why Accessibility Is Not a Compromise

God of War” director Cory Barlog offered up his two cents in the ongoing difficulty and accessibility debate in video games on Sunday.

The heated debate of how accessible games should be to a wide audience is one that comes up time and time again, and this time around it was FromSoftware’s challenging “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” that started the discussion. FromSoftware had already developed a reputation for releasing notoriously difficult games with its “Dark Souls” series and “Bloodborne.”

Some developers and gamers feel that offering different accessibility or difficulty options or even a mode that just lets players minimally interact with the game is not in line with the original vision for the experience of the game. Barlog, though, stated that “Accessibility has never and will never be a compromise to my vision,” in a tweet Sunday.

Sony Santa Monica’s 2018 game “God of War” offers four different gameplay difficulty settings: Give Me A Story, Give Me A Balanced Experience, Give Me A Challenge, and Give Me God of War. Rather than “easy” or “hard,” these settings are titled for the experience that players want to have while enjoying “God of War.”

“To me, accessibility does not exist in contradistinction to anyones creative vision but rather it is an essential aspect of any experience you wish to be enjoyed by the greatest number of humans as possible,” Barlog wrote in a follow-up post.

Steve Spohn, the COO of AbleGamers, a charity which aims to improve “the lives of gamers with disabilities utilizing the power of videogames,” according to its Twitter page, has been speaking out on the topic on Twitter frequently, and explained that it’s not about difficulty or easy modes.

“Accessibility means options, not easy gameplay,” Spohn wrote in a tweet on Friday.

“In any game, whether it’s ‘Sekiro,’ ‘Dark Souls,’ or any other skill-based game, there should be options to allow your health to be modified, your enemies help to be modified, and the game speed adjusted,”Spohn continued. “This does not make the game easy. It allows people to make the game equal.”

As for “Sekiro,” the difficulty of the game was part of what made the experience more tedious at times than enjoyable, according to Variety’s review of the game. 

“…Miyazaki’s insistence on perching his finely-wrought combat systems on a sheer cliff-face of difficulty seems more and more indefensible with every masterpiece he cranks out,” according to the review. “Even as we admire his handiwork, it’s hard to shake the feeling that if he traded in some of his stubborn design cruelty for just a touch of empathy, it would be all the greater.”

More Gaming

  • Mortal Kombat

    New 'Mortal Kombat' Movie to Hit Theaters in 2021

    Warner Bros. has dated its new “Mortal Kombat” movie for March 5, 2021, with James Wan producing and Simon McQuoid directing. “Mortal Kombat” will do battle on its opening date with Sony Pictures’ fantasy adventure “Masters of the Universe,” which Noah Centineo will lead as the Most Powerful Man in the Universe. Pre-production on “Mortal [...]

  • CD Projekt Red Aims to Minimize

    CD Projekt Red Aims to Minimize Crunch for 'Cyberpunk 2077'

    Those in power at CD Projekt Red are promising less crunch on the upcoming “Cyberpunk 2077” in a recent interview with Kotaku, released Friday. Marcin Iwiński, CD Projekt Red’s co-founder, and Adam Badowski, the studio head and director of the game acknowledged that crunch, meaning mandatory overtime, is something they want to avoid while also [...]

  • E3

    Activision, EA Both Forgo E3 Show Floor Presence For 2019

    Major games publishers Activision and Electronic Arts have opted out of maintaining a booth at this year’s E3, as can be seen on the official floor plan for the upcoming event. Both Activision and Electronic Arts (EA) will still be at the event but will have meeting rooms not booths at E3, the annual event [...]

  • Full Sail to Open Largest On-Campus

    Full Sail to Open Largest On-Campus Esports Arena Next Week

    Full Sail University plans to open what it’s calling “the largest on-campus collegiate esports arena in the U.S.” next week, it announced on Friday. Dubbed “The Fortress,” the new arena will be home to Armada, Full Sail’s varsity esports team. Its official opening and a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place the week of May [...]

  • 'Rick and Morty' Getting a D&D

    'Rick and Morty' Getting a D&D Tabletop Game This Fall

    “Rick and Morty” is getting the Dungeons & Dragons treatment later this year in a new tabletop adventure, Wizards of the Coast announced Friday. “Dungeons & Dragons vs Rick and Morty: Tabletop Roleplaying Game Adventure” will include everything those looking to dive into D&D will need to get started. D&D partnered up with Adult Swim [...]

  • 'Rainbow Six Siege' Teases a Stylish

    'Rainbow Six Siege' Teases a Stylish New Operator

    Ubisoft is teasing the start of “Rainbow Six Siege’s” Year 4 Season 2 by giving fans a sneak peek at some of the operators coming to the online tactical shooter. The latest teaser is for a dapper looking defender named Collinn “Warden” McKinley. “Hailing from the state of Kentucky, McKinley rose through the ranks of [...]

  • Minecon 2019 Bringing Community Panels, Biome

    Minecon 2019 Bringing Community Panels, Biome Vote in September

    Minecon is returning in September, and this year “Minecraft” fans can again watch from home, as revealed in a teaser trailer for the event released on Friday. The humorous trailer, shown above, is worth a watch, as the mobs of “Minecraft” are, well, less than interested in promoting the upcoming event. Minecon is a celebration [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content