The reasons behind the postponement of the game, initially scheduled for 2021, were explored with a post on Playstation Blog signed by the game director, Mathijs De Jonge:
“A few months have passed since our presentation of the gameplay of Horizon Forbidden West during State of Play, where we showed a preview of Aloy's journey and exciting new features such as the ability to swim and climb freely, improved hand-to-hand combat and much more.
At the time, Horizon Forbidden West had just passed an important milestone and we had entered the last stage of development. Everything was going as planned, but we weren't sure if we could reach the level of quality we were aiming for on schedule.
Of course, the global pandemic has had a major impact on our teams, forced to adapt to new workflows, protocols and other challenges. We wanted to ensure maximum security and prioritize a healthy work-life balance.
Today we are thrilled to announce that our highly anticipated sequel will arrive on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on February 18 2022. Pre-orders will open on 2 September 2021, but you will have more details on this next week "
As a partial consolation, Guerrilla Games has announced the arrival of a patch that will finally bring to Horizon Zero Dawn, the original chapter, a 60fps mode exclusive to PS5.