Horizon Forbidden West director Mathijs De Jonge said that the game "might have been released at the end of last year", however, Guerrilla Games chose to delay the game to avoid the overtime crunch at the studio.
Horizon Forbidden West director Mathijs De Jonge revealed that Guerrilla Games chose to delay the game's release, to a certain extent, to avoid the overtime crunch at the studio. In an interview with the Dutch site NU, the director told about the Guerrilla Games' approach to developing games, its delays, and working culture.
Talking about companies that "are systematically working overtime", the director noted that at Guerrilla Games, this happens quite rarely. According to De Jonge, the studio's management realizes how crunches can influence the staff and the quality of their work, so they try to avoid them taking this issue into the account while planning. As an example, the game director told about the Christmas holidays when the employees had a two-week vacation. "The company was closed, you couldn't even go there to work," added De Jonge.
As for Forbidden West, the director shared that it "might have been released at the end of last year", however, in this case, the employees "might have had to work overtime". "That also played a part in the decision to release the game now," De Jonge pointed out.
Horizon Forbidden West was initially planned to come out by the end of 2021, but in August, Guerrilla announced that it would take more time to finish the development. The game was released on February 18 for PS4 and PS5.
Although many companies demonstrated their problematic approach to working culture, Guerrilla Games is not the first one who takes steps to avoid crunches. For instance, Insomniac Games claimed that its Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart was released without forcing the employees to work overtime. The game designer Grant Parker also shared in a tweet: "It is possible to work on a great game w/o suffering."
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