Horizon Forbidden West is out now, and we absolutely love it. The game – which we awarded a 9/10 in our Horizon Forbidden West PS5 review – was originally scheduled to release towards the tail-end of last year, but was pushed back ever so slightly into February. That, according to game director Mathijs de Jonge, was a decision made to help the Dutch developer to avoid crunch.
“We are very aware of the disadvantages of crunching, so we take that into account a lot in our planning,” he told a Dutch news website (machine translated). “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.”
De Jonge accepted that not everyone wants a Christmas holiday – “Some people like to keep working, [and] we're not going to stop that,” he explained – but stressed that his company sends out a “strong message” when it comes to crunch: “Forbidden West might have come out at the end of last year, but then we might have had to work overtime. People also need to be able to relax and take vacations.”
While the PS5 and PS4 did feel the absence of Horizon Forbidden West over the Christmas period, Sony’s having a killer start to 2022, and that holiday drought feels like a distant memory now. The main thing is that the game is extremely good, and worthy of all the attention it’s getting – if you’re just getting started with Aloy’s sophomore outing today, then be sure to hit up our Horizon Forbidden West guide.