Inspiration comes in many forms and doesn't really matter where you get it from. The same can be said for Sony Santa Monica when they were looking around for a direction to take Kratos' character progression. In speaking with GamesBeat, God of War creative director Cory Barlog said that one of the main inspirations for this new iteration of Kratos is none other than Emperor Palpatine.
That may sound odd (and it does), but Barlog says he got his hands on scripts for a now-canceled live action Star Wars TV Show about Sheev Palpatine in which the all-mighty evil Emperor was actually written as a sympathetic character.
"Probably the really small beginnings of this idea, the germination of this — when I was working at Lucas, I was allowed to go up to the ranch and read the scripts for the [canceled live-action Star Wars] TV show…It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers."
Why was this thing canceled again? Nevermind. Considering that Star Wars has usually been great about crafting villains (prequels don't count), it's not unsurprising that Sheev Palpatine was once a completely different person before taking the reigns of the Galactic Empire. Perhaps this show could have given us greater insight into his connection/obsession with Anakin Skywalker, but it seems we will never know.
Source: Venture Beat