Another year, another no show for The Last Guardian at Tokyo Game Show.
The Last Guardian is still in production, Sony swears, crosses its heart, hopes to die. The company has on three separate occasions this year gone out of its way to insist that Fumito Ueda and Team Ico’s follow up to Shadow of the Colossus and Ico is still in the works for PlayStation 3, despite the fact that it’s entering its seventh year in production. With the game a no show at E3 2012 and at Gamescom, expectations were that Sony would finally show a glimpse of the game at the Tokyo Game Show. The company’s conference came and went with nary a peep about the game. Is it dead or not?
An anonymous source inside Sony tells Kotaku that work on The Last Guardian continues apace, with Ueda still hard at work. “I give you my word that it exists,” said the unnamed developer, “We are working on it.”
What is the hold up then? The Last Guardian hasn’t been officially shown to the press or to retailers since 2010. “[It’s] a very ambitious project,” said the developer, “There are lots of pieces to the puzzle. It’s a matter of getting them to fit together.”
The Sony dev also said that Sony feels it showed the game too early. The Last Guardian made its public debut during Sony’s E3 2009 press conference, just days after a similar trailer to the one shown was leaked to the press. That leaked trailer was allegedly shown to select press and other developers as early as 2007.
Sony Worldwide Studios chief has addressed the long delay a number of times this year. At Gamescom, Yoshida said that earlier versions of the game were scrapped and restarted. “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.”
“The team is still 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.”
Does it really take so long to make a game about a boy and a griffin exploring a massive, decaying castle, their emotional bond growing stronger with each ledge climbed?
Actually, that does sound pretty complicated. Carry on, Mr. Ueda.