If there is one development studio that games journalists and fans cling to as proof that a controller can be the real way to a person’s heart, it is undoubtedly Team Ico. After what seems like all the momentum of The Last Guardian has dissipated in the name of getting the project right, not all hope is lost. The head of Team Ico was recently reached for a few words on the current state of The Last Guardian, and while his answer is more vague than fans will like, it is promising.
For those who haven’t been following the development closely, it’s hard to explain just how close The Last Guardian seemed to be to cancellation before even being released. The game’s executive producer left Sony after years of employment, alongside rumors that Ueda himself had cut ties with Sony and the game’s development. Ueda would only confirm at the time that despite what may or not be taking place in his relationship with Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, he was still overseeing development on The Last Guardian.
Now a few short words have been added to the typically vague description, as Kotaku reached Ueda to see if he could comment on how the game was shaping up:
“It’s been business as usual… The only things that have really changed are the terms of my contract… I can’t really comment on the details.”
While a slightly reassuring statement like that may be seen as revealing little in most cases, just the fact that the developer is working regularly on TLG will be a relief to die-hard fans of Team Ico. So far, “business as usual” for the team has resulted in Ico and Shadow of the Colossus – two of gaming’s most artistically renowned properties. Ueda’s statements mirror those offered by Sony in the sense that The Last Guardian‘s progress may be slow, but hasn’t been stopped. Exactly what this dip means for a projected release date is anybody’s guess, but if another setback occurs, there might actually be a chance that it’s one of the last Sony games to be released on this generation of consoles.
If anything, Team Ico’s track record has earned them a bit of wiggle room, meaning Ueda’s renegotiated contract may be more agreeable and promising as others we’ve seen in the fallout of Japanese developers. It’s unlikely that an exact account of what surrounded the change in relationship between the studio head and publisher will never be told, or what it could mean for future games from the duo. At this point, fans can take solace in the fact that nobody seems to even be softening the blow of cancellation.
The Last Guardian is expected to release on the PlayStation 3, with no release date given.
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