Sony Interactive Entertainment reveals that the pre-orders for the forthcoming action-adventure title The Last Guardian exceed the company's original expectations.
Although The Last Guardian director Fumito Ueda once worried no one would remember the game due to its nearly decade-long production process and its transition from being a PlayStation 3 title to a PS4 release, it seems as if his fears are being assuaged should the action-adventure title's pre-orders be a true indication of fans' interest. As it happens, Sony’s product manager Joe Palmer recently revealed that The Last Guardian's pre-orders are higher than the company expected.
This particular piece of information comes from an interview Palmer had with MCV, but the Sony product manager failed to provide specific numbers for The Last Guardian pre-orders. Nevertheless, it seems as if the game's Collector's Edition is receiving a particularly high amount of attention, which makes sense due to it being reasonably priced for $120, as opposed to lots of other titles' bloated and expensive packages on the market.
“I can’t comment with specific details, but I can say that pre-orders for The Last Guardian are exceeding expectations. We’ve seen a really positive response to the Collector’s Edition in particular, which despite its higher price point, proves there’s a huge appetite for the game."
Even though Sony remains optimistic about high pre-orders translating to positive sales figures and receptions for The Last Guardian, Palmer made sure to mention that the company didn't want to "fuel the hype," especially after the game's stint in development hell. Palmer went on to state that his firm's intentions are to continue to rely mostly on fan anticipation to goose pre-orders.
"When you’re working on a game that has such incredibly high levels of expectation, it’s impossible not to consider the pressure of meeting player expectations. We’ve tried to avoid fueling the hype by playing on the fact that people have been waiting a long time for this. We want people to be excited because the game looks incredible, not because of its complicated development story."
For those unaware, The Last Guardian went into active development in 2007 for the PlayStation 3, but due to myriad technical issues, the creators had to introduce multiple delays of the game until its final release date of December 6, 2016 for the PS4. Considering this incredibly long wait, it's understandable for die-hard fans and newcomers alike to be intrigued by what the title has to offer, with a recent live-action trailer from Japan almost perfectly expressing gamers' sentiments on The Last Guardian finally coming out.
With The Last Guardian being touted as a spiritual successor to Team Ico's artistically-driven releases of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, fans should expect the forthcoming title to fall somewhat into the same style of gameplay – that is, deliberate and methodical exploration with dashes of grandiose action. Of course, should there be gamers out there who can't wait to experience it for themselves, Team Ico has released plenty of footage for the title, with one piece of gameplay footage clocking in at 18 minutes.
Taking all of this into consideration, pre-orders are still a contentious subject in the gaming community, with some criticizing the practice as a means for companies to artificially inflate the numbers related to a game's success rate and pocket easy money from unassuming fans. In the case of The Last Guardian, though – a title that managed to escape the possibility of being banished to oblivion – pre-orders can offer valuable insight into how many people are actually engaged with its release. That said, it will be interesting to see the official sales figures for The Last Guardian's launch month once it finally drops next week.
The Last Guardian is set to release on December 6, 2016 for PlayStation 4.