Guerilla Games, the first-party Sony studio behind the Horizon series, has officially confirmed the long-time studio director and executive producer, Angie Smets, is leaving the company after 20 years. But, don't worry, it's not like she's jumping ship and joining a rival company. Smets will join PlayStation Studios after her decades-long tenure with Guerilla as the Head of Development Strategy. In the same announcement, Guerilla also teased the future of the Horizon series, hinting at the existence of at least two more projects currently in development, including a third mainline Horizon game.
Guerilla didn't provide any details about the two upcoming games in the announcement. Instead, the studio expressed its confidence in the incoming leadership team. In Smets' absence, Joel Eschler, Hella Schmidt, and Jan-Bart van Beek will step up as the co-studio directors of Guerilla Games. The trio are expected to "steer Guerilla towards a bright future, expanding the world of Horizon with Aloy's next adventure and our exciting online projects."
On the other hand, Smets thanked Guerilla for her time, saying that she's "incredibly proud of all the games we've shipped together."
The appointment of the new co-studio directors and the departure of Smets marks a significant shift in the Guerilla Games management.
Of course, so long as Guerilla continues to deliver quality and top-shelf AAA games, fans won't complain. Guerilla's decision to mention Aloy's "next adventure" suggests that development on the third Horizon game has already started.
Unfortunately, we shouldn't expect to hear more about Horizon 3 from Guerilla anytime soon. Horizon Forbidden West only came out last year and its DLC, Burning Shores, just arrived last week. Not to mention, we recently saw the release of the spin-off PSVR 2 game, Horizon Call of the Mountain. It's highly likely that we'll get news about the "exciting online project" that Guerilla is working on next. It's believed that Guerilla is referring to the rumored Horizon MMO, which is reportedly a collaborative effort between Sony and NCSoft, a studio based in South Korea.
While we don't have specific details about the future of Aloy and the Horizon franchise, it's clear Guerilla has no intention to slow down with the expansion of the world of Horizon.
Aside from the aforementioned games, Sony is also working on a Horizon show with Netflix.