Speaking to Eurogamer, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida once again confirmed that Team ICO is still working on The Last Guardian, although certain “technical issues” forced them to “re-do” some of the core engineering work on the game.
“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.”
Yoshida also stated that The Last Guardian is still being developed for the PlayStation 3, contradicting recent speculation that the title had been pushed back to the unannounced PS4.
Despite all the recent reassurances that Team ICO’s game is still in development, I’m not all that convinced that it will be released any time soon, if at all. The major sticking point for me is that The Last Guardian has been in development for about six years and we are still at a point where Sony can’t (or doesn’t want to) produce a new trailer, or state an approximate release window. On top of that, we have now learned that recently the team has had to go back to an engineering level and “re-do” parts of the game’s code just to make it playable!
To put some perspective on that six plus years of development consider the following. Since Team ICO has been working on The Last Guardian, Sucker Punch has developed and released InFamous, InFamous 2, and the PSN spin-off InFamous 2: Festival of Blood. Also, during that same time period Naughty Dog has managed to pump out Uncharted, Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3, and (early next year) The Last of Us.
It very well may be that the content in Team ICO’s game far outweighs any of those titles, but it certainly can’t compare to all of them (from either Sony studio) combined.
A few years ago The Last Guardian was one of my most anticipated games, but at this point I’m far more interested to learn what exactly went wrong at Team ICO. Someday the game will either be released or canned.
Either way, at some point after that my hope is that some developer from Team ICO will step forward and tell the story of what the hell happened. That is the epic story that I want to see told, because I can almost guarantee that it is far more interesting than whatever is in the actual game.