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God of War: Ragnarok director reveals the NES games which influenced him

giant wolf in PS5 game God of War Ragnarok

Santa Monica Studio’s Eric Williams, who is the director behind the newly released and critically acclaimed God of War: Ragnarok, has spoken to IGN about the Nintendo Entertainment System games which have influenced some of his design decision in the games he’s been involved in. Mr. Williams says that he is an engineer at heart with a math, science, and design background. So it is not surprising to see some of the game he has chosen in the list and how they could have influenced his design decisions. Williams also told the site that his first video games console was the Atari 2600 which led him to want to become a video game developer when he was a child.

The 5 NES games which influenced him:

  1. The Legend of Zelda
  2. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  3. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
  4. Baseball Stars

  5. River City Ransom

First games console:

“The Atari 2600 was the console that made me want to be a game designer. How 9-year-old me even knew (that) ‘game designer’ was even a thing is beyond me.”

“When I was in 4th grade we had to write a book about all the things we might want to be one day, and it required us to explore 10 different paths,” he says. “My final outcome was fighter pilot, mostly due to me seeing Top Gun. But the wild part was the runner-up entry (was) “game designer”. 

“Yet all these years later, here I am sitting at Santa Monica Studios reflecting on the dreams of a kid from the Midwest while the world is playing our game.”


7 thoughts on “God of War: Ragnarok director reveals the NES games which influenced him”

      1. How does baseball influence someone to create something like GoW? It’s like saying using butt plugs influenced someone to create CoD MW II.

        1. It says the NES games that helped influence “some” of his game design in the games he’s been involved in, it doesn’t specifically say it helped influence GoW Ragnarock game design. I think it just means it helped influence his game designs in general.

    1. I used to play that game. That game probably has the biggest influence. The third person angle while batting is very much like new god of war. And you swing a bat to hit the ball coming at you. It requires hand eye coordination on game form. Just like god of war when to smack someone with a weapon.

  1. The Atari made me wanna swing across pits after playing Pit Fall and go dig up the ET cartridges they hurried in the dessert, the Atari made me wanna skip school. I had no idea what a game designer was.

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