Horizon Zero Dawn was one of the best-selling PS4 exclusives of 2017. Horizon elevated developer Guerrilla Games to a higher tier than they were known for in the process. After spending a long time with the Killzone franchise, it is easy to see that the team was chomping at the bit to work on something new. According to both critical and popular acclaim, Guerrilla knocked it out of the park. I would be very surprised if the next Horizon installment wasn’t in the works and hasn’t been for almost a year already.
There are questions as to whether a sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn will following directly along with protagonist Aloy, or if it will explore a totally different cast of characters and setting. Personally, I think Guerilla Games will continue with Aloy’s life and experiences, as there is much more to be discovered in the distant future that has fallen back to the past in several ways.
Taking a look at the PlayStation 4’s launch lineup of games, you’ll notice a mixture of games that were already available on the previous generation of hardware, first-party games, and smaller independent titles. Guerrilla Games launched Killzone: Shadow Fall alongside the PS4, and it was a change in a new direction for the franchise. It was received well enough, but even with the latest Killzone game, it was apparent that the team wanted to do more and different.
This came in the form of Horizon Zero Dawn four years later on the PS4. Game development is an arduous pursuit as many of us can imagine. The time it takes to develop a game varies depending on what type of game is being made and how comfortable the team is with the technology involved. I think we can all agree on a couple of points. Sequels are released in shorter amounts of time than the original property (think Resident Evil and its sequel on PS1, or the Tomb Raider reboot and its sequel for this generation), a team that loves a new intellectual property will be focused on creating it and getting it out the door more than an older and familiar one.
There are rumors flying around the video game industry these days, per usual. These winds bring out two distinct features of the next console generation. One is that it is sooner than we think and could be revealed next year or the year after that. The next harrowing hypothesis is that it will be the last console generation. We’ve heard this one before, mainly prior to the launch of PS4. Mobile games were supposed to be the Achilles Heel to console titles, but that was obviously proven not to be the case. With streaming becoming more and more popular, big names in the industry are saying that it is the future and it’s not far off from having an all streaming games service, no downloads, no discs. I don’t agree, but that’s a story for another time.
Taking all of this information in, I believe we will see the next PlayStation console revealed in the near future. By near future, I mean E3 2020, with it launching in the fall that same year. Next year seems too early to reveal and release a new console, with quite a few PS4 exclusives yet to be released. Next year will be the last salvo of amazing titles for the PS4 before focusing on the PS5 in 2020. With my previous report on Horizon Zero Dawn, taking into account a more excited and eager development cycle, a motivated team, and a knowledge of the game world and technology involved in building it, I expect Horizon Zero Dawn 2 to be a launch title for the next PlayStation. This is a year shorter between releases for Guerrilla Games, but I think it is more than likely to happen.