Following The Last Guardian‘s surprise reveal during E3 2015 a couple of weeks ago, the hopes of the game’s ardent fans were finally reignited, as many took to online message boards that very evening to share their effusive joy for the title’s confirmation. After The Last Guardian spent several years stuck in limbo, it’s understandable for all of those gamers who were patiently waiting for even the smallest kernel of news regarding the title to have lost faith in Team Ico’s ability to bring the project to light.
However, the fans who continued their unbridled support for The Last Guardian via Internet campaigns and discussions may well have been the long-lost game’s saving grace. In truth, while speaking with EDGE Magazine, the president of SCE Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, basically confirmed as much.
Yoshida implies that Sony had a lot of difficulty making The Last Guardian work with the declining technology of the PlayStation 3, which led to major delays when the company moved development to the PlayStation 4. As a matter of fact, the situation was so frustrating for all involved that the project was in danger of being canceled entirely were it not for the passion of those gamers insistent upon receiving updates for the release.
In regards to the fans’ fervent and justified support of The Last Guardian, Yoshida says:
“Tech issues aside, the game was still early in development, so we had to have a really strong desire to continue the project and rebuild on PS4. And of course we believed in the vision of Ueda-san, and Ueda-san and the core teams really wanted to see this realised, and so did I. Having so many people asking us about the game was great encouragement for us to continue the development.”
In the years following The Last Guardian‘s first reveal way back in 2009, Team Ico‘s title almost vanished from the gaming world’s radar entirely. To drive this point home, Yoshida confirmed that all of the time gone by without much to show for it almost extinguished any dreams of The Last Guardian ever coming to fruition.
When he was asked about how close the game truly came to cancellation, the SCE president says, “If everyone stopped asking about it, probably we would have.” Bearing that in mind, even before The Last Guardian’s reveal at E3 2015, the project’s director Fumito Ueda was still weary from the production process, and was worried no one would remember the game.
Despite all of the obstacles Sony and the game developers have faced, The Last Guardian fortunately made it out of development hell, and is alive and well. So, perhaps the lesson we can all learn from this situation is that sometimes it pays to be vocal about what we believe in, and to see our passions through no matter what.
The Last Guardian is set for release some time in 2016 exclusively for the PlayStation 4.