Creating a new IP is a very uncertain task for any developer or publisher. It can be difficult to nail down a concept that’s different, yet familiar to players. The process takes years for companies to complete, however, when something special comes along the wait is always worth it.
This past February saw the debut of Guerrilla Games’ new IP, Horizon Zero Dawn. The game is an open-world, RPG that takes place in a stunning universe. It contains miles of personality and originality. This includes everything from its main protagonist Aloy, to the beasts who seek to maim her.
New IPs like Horizon Zero Dawn are rare and when they come along, it’s important to acknowledge their value. However, before the studio launched the new open-world, there was quite a lot of uncertainty surrounding the viability of the project. Guerrilla Games’ Hermen Hulst spoke a little about the process of creating Horizon Zero Dawn.
“There was a lot of both. There was a huge amount of newness that we took on. It’s our first open-world game. [Horizon Zero Dawn] is a new IP. It’s got a very different visual style; we went from the grittiness and edginess that is Killzone to something with a lush and vibrant nature. It’s more about beauty — creating a world that people want to be in instead of evacuate out of. It’s our first RPG. It involves quests and so many new systems. The sum total of new areas probably made it such a huge jump.
“And yes, that made us very nervous. There were times when we absolutely weren’t sure it was the best thing to do. I’ll be talking about that in my keynote — about that journey and how the decision came about. I’ll be talking about where we were as a company and that specific time in our company when we made that decision, as well as how we procrastinated that decision, because it’s a huge delta from what we did in the past,” Hulst told Interactive.
Heading into a new direction for any studio can be a very intimidating task. A first-person shooter developer moving into the open-world, RPG realm is even more scary. Sony gave Guerrilla Games ample time to craft and evolve their concept from paper to game, and it’s patience was greatly rewarded.
It’s hard not to look at Horizon Zero Dawn and say it isn’t one of the year’s best. It is one of 2017’s best. The open-world experience is one all who adore RPGs and open-world games have to play. It’s a world you’ll want to revisit over and over. Sony’s Horizon Zero Dawn is available now on PS4 and PS4 Pro. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Horizon Zero Dawn.