Horizon Forbidden West is finally out and it’s already being heralded as one of the best Sony titles of 2022. The long wait it seems was completely worth it, even with a slight delay from 2021 to early 2022. In fact, the delay ended up being for an extremely good reason. In an interview with Dutch publication Nu, Guerilla Games Creative Director Mathijs de Jonge revealed that the game was delayed so that the studio could avoid crunch time. According to de Jongee, the studio does not tolerate any type of overtime work at the expense of personal health to their developers.
— Push Square (@pushsquare) February 18, 2022
de Jonge states that they wanted to avoid crunch as much as possible, which lead to the decision to delay the title last Summer. de Jongle also mentioned that if they did go through crunch the game could’ve possible been released by the 2021 holidays, but refused to go down that path. “We are very aware of the disadvantages of crunching, so we take that into account a lot in our planning. To give an example, at Christmas we said that there would be no work and that everyone could just have a two-week vacation. The company was closed, you couldn’t even go there to work.”
This is a very nice breath of fresh air, especially with the recent news of other companies coming under fire for their reportedly insane crunch hours. This includes CD Projekt Red, and Treyarch, two of the biggest gaming company’s in the industry, as well as many others that go unnoticed. Guerilla Games, as well as other Sony studios such as Insomniac Games, bucked that horrible trend and made sure that no crunch ever took place. Horizon Forbidden West clearly has not suffered as a result of this, which will hopefully lead to other developers/publishers moving away from the crunch work culture.
Horizon Forbidden West is available now for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.