Sony Interactive Entertainment
God of War Ragnarök – Myths of Midgard Storybook
A Story Waiting to
What do Spider-Man, Horizon, and Last of Us (c’mon Naughty Dog, give us a third) have in common? Legions of fans awaiting the next iteration of their stories. Much was the same for the hype that came with the long-awaited release of God of War Ragnarök, a game that took over the community by storm so much so that Playstation launched a branded special edition PS5 to commemorate the occasion. But before all the madness of the release, AKQA and Sony Interactive Entertainment wanted to drop a few breadcrumbs to build up the momentum in the form of a campaign spot. Enter WAR.
Across the Nine Realms
It had been four years since the first chapter of the epic Norse journey following Kratos and Atreus, a father and son traversing the Nine Realms in the name of their second wife and mother, respectively. As a direct sequel the game picks up right where the previous one left it, which meant that anyone who picks up Ragnorök without any context would be completely lost. Alongside AKQA, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Santa Monica Studios, we created a spot centered around a storybook titled The Myths of Midgard, which acted as cliff notes for old players to refresh their memory on the lore and for new players to get the lowdown on what they missed in the first game. As a socially-driven spot, it would bring excitement and awareness around the game but also deliver an educational piece that recaps the story in an entertaining and engaging way.
Executionally this was always meant to be a design-driven, illustration-driven piece. We wanted to dive into the depths of The Myths of Midgard, which meant we had to bring atmospheric life to the illustrations highlighting each section of the story without going overboard on animation. Our main job? To keep the visuals as entertaining and engaging as the hilarious yet informative script by the brilliant folks over at AKQA.
The End of Fimbulwinter
In order to really encapsulate the storybook element of the spot, we needed that perfect someone to play the ever-important role of storyteller. From the get-go we knew who would fit this role perfectly, the extraordinarily talented Felicia Day, who herself touts an influential following within the videogame zeitgeist. She added that little extra oomph of fandom, coming into the role from a fan angle without pretending to be another guy from the game. We granted Felicia an on-screen partner in the form of Mimir, a talking head from the game who became a companion on Kratos’ quest, constantly imparting his unwarranted insights. The playful, sarcastic banter between Mimir and Felicia sprinkled in some humorous elements throughout the script.
Although we originally toyed around with the setting to be inside an old cottage styled in a way that is reminiscent of Kratos’ house, we wanted our location to feel a bit more modern. We kept the Nordic influence of warm woods and lighted the scene with a central fireplace, adding to that cozy feel. Outside the window, there’s a winter storm happening – a call to the imminent end of the three-year Fimbulwinter, when the sequel is set to begin. Our intention was to appeal to the fanbase with a sprinkle of easter eggs while modernizing it and grounding the spot in elements of reality.
May the Axe-Throwing Commence!
Our intent was to get the people hyped, and hyped they were. The spot premiered three months before God of War Ragnorök’s official release, which was met with praise from fans across the globe who, despite the 7-minute runtime, made sure to soak up every last second of the recounting of Kratos’ journey across the Nine Realms.