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Why We're Worried About Horizon Forbidden West

"Horizon Forbidden West" was announced back in 2020, along with a possible 2021 release date that hasn't been confirmed just yet. Now, a new interview with the head of PlayStation Studios, Hermen Hulst, has shed light on "Horizon Forbidden West" and its lack of a solid release date.

Hulst sat down for an interview with the official PlayStation blog to talk all things "Horizon Forbidden West" and PlayStation Studios. When faced with a question about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected PlayStation Studios, Hulst refused to sugar-coat any details. While programmers can continue working relatively easily from home, motion capture and audio recording present different challenges. 

"We've come up with some really clever solutions to some of this," Hulst said. "We built tiny recording studios in people's houses." However, tiny recording studios can't provide access to much of the necessary motion capture technology.

There are two options for studios wanting to continue work during a time of social distancing and isolation: delay games until in-person activity can begin again or push to rush games in spit of the challenges caused by distance. As Hulst put it, "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." Hulst did not disclose which option PlayStation Studios chose, but he did note that PlayStation Studios didn't want to push its team too hard.

An undetermined release date

So what does this all mean for "Horizon Forbidden West?" Hulst isn't sure yet. "For 'Horizon,' we think we are on track to release this holiday season," Hulst said. "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." In the meantime, fans continue to wait for more specific news on "Horizon Forbidden West," increasingly tantalized by a new gameplay trailer.

Hulst also discussed the 25 titles currently in development at PlayStation Studios, noting that half of them are entirely new IP. With so many creative things on the way for PlayStation, there's a lot for fans to be excited about. However, the lack of specific release dates for "Horizon Forbidden West" has some fans understandably worried. 

As time slowly moves by without new information about "Horizon Forbidden West," fans have stirred up arguments online about Aloy's femininity, or lack thereof. Working themselves into an uproar over Aloy's character design, fans have recently bickered about the role of women in gaming, all while still anticipating "Horizon Forbidden West."