Horizon Zero Dawn is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and it’s the first original IP from Guerrilla Games since it started developing the original first-person shooter Killzone. In a recent interview, the executive producer for the game delved into why it doesn’t feature a multiplayer component, something seen as integral for a game to sell well in the modern gaming industry. That was one of the reasons the originally single-player-oriented franchise Assassin’s Creed deviated into multiplayer territory.
The team has been through plenty of first-person extravaganzas in blood and Third Reich references. But now they’re putting together a story-driven and emotional game from the perspective of a hunter in a distant future where cyber-dinosaurs and nature have taken over. All of it’s new territory for the developer. And as mentioned, there’s not even that integral multiplayer component featured in all of their previous Killzone titles. Mark Norris, executive producer of Horizon Zero Dawn explains why:
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“There are questions as to why a multiplayer will not do. The reality is that we are putting together a new IP. We are making a new franchise for the first time in 10 years and what we really want to do is improve the experience for the player,” Norris said. “When you get to face these machines as Eloy, with this great character, who is the real star of the story and everything that happens, have this connection with her. But what happens when you take the elements of multiplayer? You play as a supporting character? How does that work?”
Mark continues to explain that he thinks their single-player approach is similar to that of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. “It is an action RPG with a single player experience. I think we’re similar in that way, we want this to be the story of Eloy. Although a multiplayer mode is great and maybe we can think of something for the future, but we want Horizon Zero Dawn’s story to be on Eloy and it’s going to be fantastic when you play with it.”
Mark was also asked at what point the firm decided to have a female main character. He indicated that the decision was made right from the start of the game’s development in 2011 and was never questioned during development.