The game launches on PlayStation 4 on 9th December 2016 in the UK and Ireland, and 7th December across Europe. It had been due out 25th October.
In a post on the PlayStation Blog, Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida said the delay was a difficult decision, but “we have encountered more bugs than anticipated while in the final stages of development”.
“To ensure that The Last Guardian delivers on the experience that the game’s creators have envisioned, we need to take the extra time to work on those issues,” Yoshida continued.
“Our development continues to push itself to the fullest and we look forward to revealing new content towards the launch.
“We appreciate your continued support.”
The Last Guardian is no stranger to delays. It began development back in 2007, a year after the PS3 launched, but became stuck in development hell. Sony re-announced the game for PS4 at last year’s E3.
The Last Guardian is still alive, and it’s coming out on the PS4 in 2016. The practically mythical game was shown off today during Sony’s E3 press conference. It’s a damn miracle.
The Last Guardian, as you may already know, has had a troubled development cycle. Team Ico, the developers, originally announced the game in 2009 for the PS3. Since then, the game has had a ton of delays and supposed cancellations—some people assumed that it would just never come out. It’s been a trip. But here we are. Sony says it’s coming out, for real this time.
The footage shown tonight—all on the PS4—saw a little boy traversing precarious platforms and solving puzzles with the help of a giant beast. It looks like the sort of mysterious but intriguing game you’d expect from the people who also developed Shadow of the Colossus.
The Last Guardian isn’t dead yet, as many have suspected in recent years, and Sony does have a reason for staying quiet about Fumito Ueda’s latest project.
In an interview with Game Informer, Sony worldwide studios president Shuhei Yoshida said, “The team is still there in SCE Japan Studio, Ueda-san is still there, but we are still waiting for the time to reintroduce it.”
The Last Guardian has been seen very little in recent years, its name only popping up when people begin to believe it has been canceled, only for Sony to claim that isn’t the case.
Ueda, who also served as director on Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, left Sony in 2011 but agreed to stay on in order to see the game through to completion. It was said the game was making progress last year, more reassurances came earlier this year, and then we received word it had been put on hiatus in June. That changed last month, when it was said that Japan Studio is actively working on it, but that Puppeteer and Knack took precedence.
If Sony is indeed waiting to reintroduce the game, that could mean it will be released on PlayStation 4, rather than PlayStation 3, a possibility that has made the rounds in the past.
Our 90-minute national nightmare is over. Sony’s PlayStation boss Jack Tretton may have said that the long-awaited The Last Guardian was on hiatus today, but Sony’s head of worldwide studios, Shuhei Yoshida, says that’s wrong.
“That hiatus term—I’m not a native English-speaking person—but that’s misleading,” Yoshida told me a few minutes ago during an interview here at E3. He’d watched Tretton’s comments on Spike.com while eating lunch. “The game is in active development. [Lead designer Fumito] Ueda-san shared updates a few months ago. Nothing has changed. My answer is, ‘Yes, the game is in active development.’ It’s not hiatus at all. But we are not ready to reintroduce it. When we are ready, we will do that. Please wait.”
Confirming our suspicions, Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Jack Tretton has confirmed that The Last Guardian is “on hiatus.”
The last time IGN actually saw the game was nearly three years ago, at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show. Since then, Sony’s beleaguered project mainly made headlines for its absence from key trade shows and events.
Long in development at SCE Studios Japan, The Last Guardian was initially announced as a Team ICO PS3 project at E3 2009. Sony rumblings from as recently as February 2013 indicated that the game might have been moved to PS4, but it’s now clear that the project has been put on hold instead.
Noticeably absent from Sony’s press event yesterday was The Last Guardian. The game was first announced in 2009. Since then, fans have been waiting for the finished title to emerge. It hasn’t.
Development has not exactly been smooth. The game’s creator, Fumito Ueda, has left Sony, but is contracted out to finish this title. There’s been talk about one of Sony’s North American studios also working on the game. Amid speculation that the game had been shifted to the PS4, Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida confirmed that the game was still being developed for the PS3.
Today at the Tokyo Game Show, a Japanese developer for Sony told Kotaku that work continues on the game—even if it’s not at TGS. “I give you my word that it exists,” said the developer, who wanted to be unnamed. “We are working on it.”
The game, according to this developer, is still being developed in Japan. Fumito Ueda continues to work closely on the project (something Ueda confirmed to Kotaku this summer). But it’s a “very ambitious project”, the developer pointed out, adding that The Last Guardian was probably announced way too early.
According to the Sony developer, the logical explanation for why The Last Guardian isn’t at TGS is that Sony seems to be pulling back recently, being more reluctant to talk about games until they are closer to launch.
“There are lots of pieces to the puzzle,” said the developer. “It’s a matter of getting them to fit together.”
Fumito Ueda, the mind behind such classics as ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, left Sony last year much to the dismay of fans awaiting the release of his latest project, The Last Guardian. Since then, there’s been little news on his involvement with the project as an outside contractor and indeed how production on the game is going.
Kotaku managed to catch up with Ueda and asked him what he’s been doing since his departure from Sony. Ueda couldn’t say much, but he assured us that he is indeed still working closely with the development team and that work on The Last Guardian is in progress. “It’s been business as usual.” Ueda said with a reassuring smile. “The only things that’ve really changed are the terms of my contract.”
Last Guardian creative director Fumito Ueda has said the game is pushing PS3 to its limits.
Speaking to Edge, the Team Ico man discussed the most challenging aspects of developing the stunning looking game, noting: “With Ico, the way the AI was implemented was a challenge, and in SOTC, the way you could climb those bosses was another.
“In this game, I’m implementing both together while applying a huge brush-up that pushes the PS3 to its limit. This is quite a task, and we still have a lot of work to perfect it.”
Ueda also said he’s still a “long way” from creating the perfect game character, although this isn’t something he puts down to the limitations of Sony’s console.
“… I want to create a character that is as perfect as possible. I mean, as natural as possible. I’d like players to feel it’s really alive… I’m certainly trying to make that perfect living character.
“This is a great platform that has a lot to offer, but it’s not a question of machine power. It’s more about how you get emotions out of a virtual character.
“All my games feature a wall,” Ueda added. “In the first, it was about language, while the second was more about the thinking. This time, it goes beyond that, with a creature that can’t speak and has its own behaviour. So they were about situations. I’d like to come to a point where I could really communicate with a character through words in a very natural manner.”
Ueda has recently revealed that this spring’s Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection could come with a demo for The Last Guardian.
The Last Guardian is expected to release in late 2011.
A number of UK shops have gone live with a Friday 7th October release date for hotly anticipated PlayStation 3 exclusive The Last Guardian.
Tesco, ASDA, The Hut, Zavvi and Woolworths all say the Team ICO-developed title will release on 7th October.
GAME, Play, Amazon and HMV are yet to suggest a release date, however.
While shop release dates are often placeholder, and a number of the websites listed above fall under The Hut Group’s control, Sony will hold a PlayStation Meeting event this Thursday in Japan. Could the shops have jumped the gun on an announcement?
Every now and again the main playable character needs a little tweaking. Sometimes it’s done as a result of a sizeable backlash to a character redesign and other times it is in order to add more points to the believability of the game. Such is the case with The Last Guardian, the highly anticipated moving painting created by the genuine artists over at Team ICO.
In an interview with PSM3, Team ICO head Fumito Ueda said that he originally wanted the grace an elegance of a female main character to offset the brutish strength of the bird/dog creature in the game. Then when thinking more on the topic of gender, Ueda decided to go with a male character instead because of his belief that a male character would have greater gripping power. Worth noting is that fact that all of Team ICO’s games from Shadow of the Colossus to Ico have had some sort of climbing mechanic that required a tremendous amount of fingertip strength and all of their main characters have been male.
While the first deciding factor in changing the sex of the character was more of a product of function the second is more design oriented. In the game, players will be experiencing a wide array of camera orientations as they traverse the various landscapes of the game. If the main character had been a girl, Ueda feared that some camera angles would be inappropriate should the protagonist be wearing a skirt.
Ultimately, Team ICO settled on a male main character and is not thinking twice about it. Sure, it would have been nice to approach the game from a completely different perspective than Team ICO’s previous games but, from all that we have seen, the game is visually stunning and it’s going to be a very emotional experience.