[UPDATE] Guerrilla has acknowledged the info below, tweeting all the job openings for the various projects it's working on, which include a Horizon Online project with the following description:
Featuring a new cast of characters and a unique stylized look, friends will be able to explore the majestic wilds of Horizon together.
There is also a separate external project team, which might be working with NCSoft on the MMO mentioned below. It looks like both games will be made after all.
[ORIGINAL STORY] As first spotted by content creator Jorraptor, a list of job openings available for Guerrilla Games essentially confirms the existence of the rumored Horizon Online multiplayer cooperative game.
The first job is for a Lead World Designer (Online Project).
Create amazing multiplayer worlds full of exciting locations, activities, and encounters
Guerrilla is looking for a Lead World Designer to bring the expanding Horizon universe to a multiplayer audience.
In case you weren't convinced yet, there are plenty of other job openings for the same project that point towards Horizon Online being a real thing. Take the Lead Combat Designer (Online Project) job:
Guerrilla is looking for an experienced and passionate Lead Combat Designer to oversee the design and development of accessible, cooperative and replayable multiplayer combat experiences.
As a successful candidate, you will work closely with combat designers, animators, gameplay programmers and multi-disciplinary teams to create playable characters and a variety of enemies (Machines & Humanoids) that focus on exciting combat with cooperative elements.
WHAT YOU WILL DO
As a Lead Combat Designer (Online Project) at Guerrilla, you will:
Champion the project combat pillars together with the Game Director and Lead Game Designer
Work closely with Combat Designers to oversee development of multiple playable characters, their combat abilities, variety of enemies (machines and humanoid), and a variety of combat systems.
Guerrilla is looking for an experienced and passionate Senior Combat Designer to help create a variety of Machine enemies that are spectacular, challenging and memorable to fight cooperatively. We are searching for a seasoned candidate with a keen understanding of what makes a good enemy design that challenges a variety of player skills.
WHAT YOU WILL DO
As a Senior Machine Combat Designer at Guerrilla, you will:
Work closely with your Lead Combat Designer to design multiple machine enemies that provide variety of challenges against multiple players
It's not too surprising when you consider that a co-op mode was actually available in the original game, Horizon Zero Dawn, before ending up on the cutting floor.
If you were worried that Horizon Online would abandon the narrative-driven approach set by the single player games, don't fret. There's also a job opening for a Narrative Designer, where one of the requirements is to 'possess extensive knowledge of stories and narrative design in open-world RPG games, online games, and MMORPGs'.
The question is indeed whether this game in development at Guerrilla is separate from the Horizon MMO supposedly in the works at NCSoft. Is Guerrilla working alongside NCSoft? It would be quite weird to be preparing two separate Horizon Online projects at the same time.
Regardless, it is undoubtedly an exciting time for fans of the IP. After the successful release of Horizon Forbidden West, there's a PS VR2 spin-off (Call of the Mountain) coming in February 2023. A couple of months later, the Burning Shores DLC will expand the content available in Horizon Forbidden West (which is also likely to launch on PC at some point in the future). Further down the road, a TV series adaptation will air on Netflix.