Horizon Forbidden West‘s director Mathijs de Jonge has said that Guerrilla Games made the decision to delay the title partially in order to avoid crunch. In a brief interview with Dutch website Nu.nl (translation via ResetEra), de Jonge revealed that the company is conscious of the disadvantages associated with crunch, and for one Christmas period during development, Guerrilla Games completely shut its doors to allow developers a two-week break.
Horizon Forbidden West delay stemmed from the pandemic
Guerrilla Games previously said that while it wanted to release Horizon Forbidden West in 2021, the pandemic made production more challenging. The game was originally in development for the PlayStation 5 only, so Sony’s decision to turn it into a cross-gen release probably resulted in the developers requiring more time. Nevertheless, Guerrilla Games was in no rush to meet tight deadlines.
“That [crunch] happens very little with us,” de Jonge told Nu.nl. “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. Some people like to keep working, they don’t necessarily want Christmas vacations. That’s allowed, we’re not going to stop that, but from the company’s point of view, we send a very strong message.”
Opinion: Horizon Forbidden West was worth the wait
Zarmena writes… Horizon Forbidden West is an impressive game from what I’ve played so far, and considering Guerrilla Games made it work almost flawlessly on both last-gen and current-gen (I’m looking at you, CD Projekt RED), the delay was well worth it. Oddly, we’ve heard that delays often lead to crunch but it looks like in Guerrilla Games’ case, it’s the exact opposite!