Horizon Forbidden West Release Date Update Has Bad News

PlayStation has delayed the new God of War game out of 2021, and it sounds like Horizon Forbidden West is also in danger of being pushed to 2022. At the moment of publishing, Guerrilla Games is still aiming to have the game out on PS4 and PS5 this holiday season, however, today, in a new PlayStation Blog post, Hermen Hulst, the head of PlayStation Studios, admitted the game may not hit this target and may be pushed to next year as a result.

"So we have, currently, two very big, very narrative-driven games in development: Horizon Forbidden West and the next God of War," said Hulst. "And for both of those, they're frankly affected by access to performance capture and talent. For Horizon, we think we are on track to release this holiday season. But that isn't quite certain yet, and we're working as hard as we can to confirm that to you as soon as we can. And for God of War, the project started a little later. So we've made the decision to push that game out to next year, to ensure that Santa Monica Studio can deliver the amazing God of War game that we all want to play. With these things, something's gotta give. It cannot be the quality of our titles, and it surely won't be the health or the wellbeing of our amazing team."

Now, if that sounds like a "prepare yourselves for a delay" warning, it's because it is. In the same PlayStation Blog post, Hulst notes the pandemic has wreaked havoc on game development, especially when it comes to capturing and making use of what he calls specialist locations.

"Perhaps the biggest challenge has been when we need specialist locations, often physical locations," said Hulst. "Primarily performance capture, audio work. We've come up with some really clever solutions to some of this, we built tiny recording studios in people's houses. But when you're doing performance capture for a lot of cinematics, with multiple actors — that's not so simple to solve. So you've got a choice. You could do it later in the schedule, which could cause you problems. Or you could risk the final quality by doing it in a different way. But I can tell you, we're not going to risk the quality. We want to ship extremely high-quality games, finished games, and we have to do that obviously without pushing our teams to the breaking point."

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Again, at the moment of publishing, the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel is slated for 2021, but it also sounds like this won't be the case for much longer. Hulst reiterates that the game will not be rushed, and it sounds like to hit the 2021 window, it will need to be rushed, but for now, this is just speculation.