Amid all the bombshell announcements, PlayStation Studios’ head Hermen Hulst also revealed that while Horizon Forbidden West was “on track” to release this Holiday season, “that isn’t quite certain yet.” Much like the next God of War, which was delayed to 2022, performance capture for all of the cinematics is proving difficult. Speaking to PlayStation Blog, Hulst says, “Perhaps the biggest challenge has been when we need specialist locations, often physical locations.
“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. So we have, currently, two very big, very narrative-driven games in development: Horizon Forbidden West and the next God of War. 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.”
Following the State of Play dedicated to the game, Guerrilla Games said that development is “on track” and that there will be an update on its launch date “very soon.” While a delay could always be announced later on, Sony would have to prepare its marketing strategy and other coverage, like gameplay demos and trailers, up to release. If it slips into 2022, then marketing other titles in the interim would be ideal.
Horizon Forbidden West was already confirmed to be releasing for PS4 and PS5 with the next God of War and Gran Turismo 7 recently being announced for the previous-gen console as well. Stay tuned for more details on its release date in the meantime.