Horizon Forbidden West's Delay Seems Likelier by the Day

With 2021 being the first full year of the next console generation, gamers have high expectations for the titles coming out. Unfortunately, with every passing day it seems more and more likely that some of those big, highly anticipated 2021 releases like Horizon Forbidden West won’t be happening this year at all.

God of War: Ragnarok was supposed to have a 2021 release, but so far, all gamers have seen is a frosty logo announcing the game’s existence. If the game is still coming this year, a trailer or at least a statement by Santa Monica would be nice. On a similar note, Elden Ring hasn’t had any real announcements since its cinematic trailer from June of 2019. For both of these games, a 2021 release seems highly unlikely. Now, fans are worried that Horizon Forbidden West, the biggest game that seems like it could still come to PlayStation this year, might also face a delay into 2022.

RELATED: Why a God of War: Ragnarok Delay Wouldn’t Be Surprising

A few weeks ago, rumors began circulating that Horizon Forbidden West may have already been delayed into 2022. This ‘leaked’ information came from Anton Logvinov, who correctly revealed that Horizon Zero Dawn was coming to PC before the announcement was officially made. It’s important to never put too much stock into leaks, but the seemingly reliable source convinced a lot of gamers that Forbidden West wasn’t going to make its 2021 release.

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan was quick to dispel these rumors, saying that he still felt good about Horizon making its 2021 release schedule. While that’s encouraging and something to keep in mind, there still haven’t been any announcements or updates since Forbidden West’s reveal trailer back in June 2020. In a couple of months, it will have been a full year without any new information about the game.

Gamers can be impatient at times, and the longer developers go without giving updates on highly anticipated games, the more impatient they seem to get. However, it’s usually a good thing when games get delayed, despite some fan complaints, because that means gamers are more likely to receive a polished finished product. Developers have become more wary from the disastrous Cyberpunk 2077 launch, and hopefully, fans have as well and will be more understanding of games being delayed in the future. That doesn’t mean they don’t want an update, though.

The most concerning thing about Horizon Forbidden West is that, apart from 2021, there is no concrete release date or release window. Even something like “Holiday 2021” would be better than nothing, but developers have been hesitant on giving concrete release dates and release windows in 2021 because of how often delays have happened.

Historically, delays have created conflict and a lack of trust between developers and gamers, even when the delays are relatively small. It’s especially difficult when pre-orders get canceled, and Guerrilla Games may be trying to avoid some of that unnecessary conflict by waiting to reveal the release date until it’s confident it’ll be able to meet it. With Forbidden West’s broad 2021 release window, the game could have been delayed from August to December and nobody would know.

Delays can be disappointing, and while withholding information about the release date is frustrating for fans, it may be better than the alternative. Horizon Forbidden West has a lot to live up to, and Guerrilla Games needs to take the time it needs to get it right.

RELATED: Horizon Forbidden West Needs to Avoid One Sequel Trap

Horizon Forbidden West is a big game for PlayStation, and since it’s supposed to release on both PS4 and PS5, it should come out relatively soon. The same goes for God of War: Ragnarok. That said, PlayStation has had some great releases this year, and there are several upcoming PlayStation exclusives yet to be released. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Returnal, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, and Deathloop all have concrete release dates, and GhostWire: Tokyo is rumored to release in October. Even if Horizon Forbidden West gets pushed to next year, 2021 will still have been a great year for PlayStation owners.

It’s also important to realize that the pandemic has had a huge impact on games’ release schedules, and that impact will probably be felt for some time. Several of the games mentioned above have been delayed already, and while a lot of developers have insisted the pandemic hasn’t influenced game production that much, that’s pretty hard to believe.

Gamers may be frustrated about a lack of updates on blockbuster games like Horizon Forbidden West, but they should understand the bigger picture. If the game is ready, it will be released as soon as possible. Delays only mean that the game will be better than it otherwise would have been. Standards for next-gen gaming are steadily increasing, which means games are probably going to spend even longer in development — and that’s okay. Quality should always come before quantity.

2020 also put the world through quite the ringer, halting production on many entertainment projects and closing offices. If Guerrilla Games needs until 2022 to perfect Horizon Forbidden West, there’s nothing wrong with that. It would just be nice to hear something about it so that fans can stop wondering and relying on rumors.

Horizon Forbidden West is scheduled to release in 2021 for PS4 and PS5.

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