Horizon Zero Dawn studio director reveals their last-minute panic before original E3 reveal

Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition
(Image credit: Sony)

Horizon Zero Dawn's studio director says they got cold feet right before the game's reveal in 2015. 

As revealed by Jan-Bart van Beek via the PlayStation blog, the Guerrilla studio director began second-guessing Horizon Zero Dawn right before its reveal during E3 2015. The developer explains: "The first sign that we might really have something was when Hermen Hulst (then managing director of Guerrilla, now head of PlayStation Studios) revealed the first trailer."

"Let’s imagine this," the director continues, "E3 in 2015. Behind the scenes, we had been secretly working on Horizon Zero Dawn for several years – but now we were going to show it to the world." Whilst heading into the 5,000-seat hall for the PlayStation showcase, van Beek recalls: "I turned to Hermen and said, 'What if it doesn’t work? What if the whole idea of cave people fighting robot dinosaurs is just too silly?'" To which Hulst apparently turned to the developer and said: "Well, too late to worry about that!"

Thankfully for Guerrilla, those seeing the trailer for the first time were ecstatic about Aloy's adventure, which "totally floored" the team. Considering how much fans love Horizon Zero Dawn, and its sequel Horizon Forbidden West, it's hard to believe that one of the people behind such a beloved series was at one point worried that audiences wouldn't like it. People liked it so much in fact that it was also revealed in the same post that the Horizon franchise has sold more than 32.7 million units worldwide, as of April 2023. 

The even better news is that the Horizon Forbidden West developer has also confirmed that "Aloy's adventure will continue." A couple of weeks ago, Guerrilla quietly revealed that it was working on "Aloy's next adventure" as well as an "exciting online project" which has been rumored as a Horizon MMO for a while now. So we're set to see much more of Aloy and friends as the Horizon series develops. 

Wondering what else we've got to look forward to? Take a look at our upcoming PS5 games list. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.