It can hardly be considered a surprise, but that doesn’t make The Last Guardian’s absence from GamesCom 2012 any less disappointing. The game hasn’t been shown publicly in years, and unfortunately, when The Last Guardian makes headlines, it tends to be because there is more bad news to share. It’s doubly frustrating for Team Ico fans, because of the secrecy surrounding the game’s development — we know that The Last Guardian is very, very late, but we really have no idea exactly why.
In a new interview, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida opens up about one of the issues holding The Last Guardian back, and promises once again that the game will see the light of day on PlayStation 3.
Fumito Ueda’s games have all been technically ambitious. Ico, initially designed for the original PlayStation, ultimately arrived on Sony’s PlayStation 2, while Shadow of the Colossus visibly pushed that system nearly to its breaking point (the remastered versions of the games included in The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection markedly outshine their original incarnations). With The Last Guardian, Ueda aims to “create a character that is as perfect as possible,” noting that the effort will push the PlayStation 3 “to its limit.” That statement has proven to be all too accurate — so much so that portions of the game’s code are now having to be re-written.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Yoshida touches on the technical issues affecting The Last Guardian, and reassures fans that development has not been moved to PlayStation 4, stating simply that, “The game is developed on PS3.”
“The team is still working on it very hard. There are certain technical issues they’ve been working on. That’s the period of time when the game, looking from the outside, doesn’t seem to be making much progress. But internally there is a lot of work going into creating the title.”
“We had the game playable. At one point we felt that it would be produced for a certain time period. That was the time we prematurely talked about the launch window. But it turned out the technical issues are much harder to solve. So the engineering team had to go back and re-do some of the work they had done.”
Indeed, it has been quite some time since Sony tried to pin a release date on The Last Guardian, though Yoshida did describe the game as “playable” as recently as February of this year. At nearly the same time, Yoshida pointed out that the project continues to be “really important” to Sony, a sentiment that is not exactly borne out by SCEA abandoning the game’s trademark — yet that is exactly what happened last week.
To be clear, there is still time for Sony to regain the trademark (or simply file for a new one), but given all the turmoil surrounding The Last Guardian’s development (endless delays, Ueda’s departure from Team Ico, Executive Producer Yoshifusa Hayama’s move to Bossa), abandoning the game’s trademark hardly looks like a vote of confidence. And with that, the long, long wait for The Last Guardian continues.
Ranters, do you take any solace in knowing that it is (ostensibly) technical, rather than creative, issues that are currently afflicting The Last Guardian? Do you still believe the game will arrive before the next-generation PlayStation does? Let us know in the comments below.
The Last Guardian is currently in development for PS3.
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