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Angie Smets is leaving the Horizon developer after two decades.

Chris Kerr

April 24, 2023

2 Min Read
A screenshot from Horizon Forbidden West showing Aloy riding a machine near the Golden Gate Bridge

Guerrilla Games studio director and executive producer Angie Smets is departing the Horizon developer after 20 years to become head of development strategy at PlayStation Studios.

Smets has been an integral part of the Guerrilla team for two decades, helping the studio establish two major PlayStation franchises in Killzone and Horizon–turning the company into a key weapon in Sony's first-party arsenal after it was acquired by the PlayStation maker back in 2005.

"These past two decades at Guerrilla have been an absolute dream. I feel privileged to have worked alongside some of the smartest and coolest people in the industry. I'm so grateful for everything I've learned alongside all the other Guerrillas," said Smets. "We have accomplished so much as a team, and I'm incredibly proud of all the games we've shipped together.

"A special shoutout to Jan-Bart van Beek and Michiel van der Leeuw. It feels like just yesterday that we were figuring out how to make and ship the first Killzone. Little did we know that we would eventually lead Guerrilla together. You've become like brothers to me, and there's no way to thank you enough. I will miss you dearly."

Chasing new horizons

Following Smets' departure, Guerrilla's management team will consist of Joel Eschler (studio director and production director), Hella Schmidt (studio director and general manager), and Jan-Bart van Beek (studio director and art director).

The Dutch studio said it has "full confidence" in its new look leadership roster, and reassured fans that it remains focused on expanding the world of Horizon with a new adventure featuring series protagonist Aloy and another "exciting online project."

This is the second time a member of Guerrilla's leadership team has bid farewell to take on a key role at PlayStation, with Hermen Hulst, Guerrilla co-founder and former managing director, stepping down in 2019 to become the new head of SIE Worldwide Studios.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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