Move over Nathan Drake and Kratos, PlayStation has a new kingpin in town, and that’s Horizon: Zero Dawn’s protagonist Aloy.
That’s right, if you’ve been on any gaming media site, you’ve probably seen the hype for one of 2017’s most anticipated games: Guerrilla Games Horizon: Zero Dawn. And if that hype wasn’t already at max level, it might now just be.
In an interview with MCV Sony Interactive Entertainment UK’s product manager Jon Edwards, said Sony is excited by the reaction that the fans have had towards the game so far. Edwards continues
“We really feel that [Horizon Zero Dawn] is an exciting addition to the array of PlayStation exclusives already available. Managing expectations can be tough but what we’ve really tried to do is focus on things like the live playthroughs from the team at Guerrilla and also to give a glimpse of what [protagonist] Aloy faces in this post-apocalyptic world.”
As MCV points out, this hasn’t always been the case though. Back in 2015 Sony’s Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida said he was “nervous to see the reaction from people” when he first unveiled the game at Sony’s E3 conference in 2015 (little did he know the game would go on to win many game of the show awards):
At the time he told Polygon the following:
“She’s a female lead character…That has always been the vision by the team, but we had a discussion. Is it risky to do a female character?”
“The concern came after the game was in development. We started to show it to many more people internally and they had questions about it. So we worked with our marketing groups to do this focus testing. The focus testing reaction was positive and that made us feel good, but you know it’s a limited number of people that we were able to test.”
When MCV followed up with these concerns with Edwards, the product manager revealed Aloy’s gender is no longer a concern. He continues:
Guerrilla Games has talked about this in the past and they were very much focused on creating a curious and determined character that was believable in this new world – it just so happened that the character ended up being female. Aloy is spirited, adventurous and driven to figure out the challenges that she comes across in this post-apocalyptic world inhabited by machines, you really buy into her as a tribal hunter and we think that the players will really enjoy playing as her. She’s a PlayStation icon of the future.”
Later in the interview, Edwards talks about whether or not the game could transform into a franchise, revealing that’s to early to call. Edwards specifically says the following:
“Nothing has been announced to date but I think there’s a lot of potential for this to be an exciting new franchise for us – we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Edwards then continues into talking about how right now Sony is focusing on preorders and on the marketing campaign ahead of launch. The product manager reveals preorder numbers “are in line” with Sony’s expectations. He then says the following about the marketing campaign:
“We have kicked off our above-the-line campaign in cinema alongside Assassin’s Creed, XXX 3 and Underworld. We will also have a big focus on TV and outdoor advertising in the build up to launch and beyond. Combine all this with our digital plans and we will have a significant campaign which will reach players across the UK.
“We also plan to provide a strong campaign post-launch to promote the title. We see this as a key title for PlayStation and supporting it through all of its life cycle is key.”
Horizon: Zero Dawn is set to launch exclusively for PS4 on February 28th in North America, and on March 1st in Europe. And if Sony’s talking up of the game is anything to go by, it’s going to be one big launch.
The game also received four new screenshots today, you can check them out here.