Leaks are the bane of any developer's existence. For story games, they are even more harrowing, because if a few certain details get out, it can completely spoil a game.
That said, it's no surprise that God of War's Creative Director, Cory Barlog, lost more than a few nights of sleep thinking about leaks. In fact, preventing leaks was such an agonizing experience for Barlog and Sony Santa Monica, that it "nearly killed" the director.
"Yeah, that nearly killed me," said Barlog about leaks. "There is a lot of stress in trying to get people on board with concepts and ideas, and pitching and convincing and trying to keep everyone on target, and that's really hard, right? But then in the end, for the last year and a half, I had to ensure that everyone across the world aligned with what we were doing, and didn't let any information out on an incident in the game. Wow. I have never experienced that much stress. It is a wonder that nothing got out- actually, I think it did get out, some information leaked, but fortunately it didn't permeate too far out into the ether for everyone to catch on to it.
Barlog continued, talking about how he and his team managed to stay on top of things, and not suffer a leak-bullet to the heart.
"We were able to keep on top of it. But it was very stressful, trying to ensure that everyone could get the same experience, and it required a lot of great collaboration between the marketing and PR groups to be flexible, when I would have a fit of some sort, and realize 'Oh my god, we have to get this out now, we have to do this, our plan was to do this, but let's just go!' Or something might be getting leaked, and just getting on top of that as quickly as possible, even though the information was there, it went away fast enough that nobody caught it."
God of War is a special game, packed with some very special moments. It's great none of it leaked out ahead of time. Barlog might have almost died keeping a lid on things, but I'm sure he would admit that it was worth it.
God of War is available exclusively on the PlayStation 4.