We’ve been asking about The Last Guardian, Team ICO’s ethereal follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus, every year since its announcement at E3 2009. Our introduction to a young child and his griffin was a stunning glimpse at haunting visuals and what promised to be a profound emotional connection between boy and beast.
We certainly didn’t expect any trouble right away; the game reappeared at 2010’s Tokyo Game Show. The new trailer didn’t show much you couldn’t gather from the original, but that’s not unusual in this industry. The important thing was, we got more content. At the end of 2010, The Last Guardian was still a thing.
Video credit: VISO Games
Today, almost five years since E3 2009, we still know next to nothing else about the game except that its development history is among the most troubled of all time. From E3 no-shows to the movement of its creative lead from full-time employee to contracted freelancer, there have been few things more disparaging to the PlayStation faithful than The Last Guardian’s perpetual state of conflict.
It’s perhaps a testament to the game’s mystique, so intriguing even after all this time and disappointment, that the PlayStation nation still cares so deeply for its eventual fate. Thanks to the release of PlayStation 4, and the common presumption that The Last Guardian will never release on its original target platform of PS3, my interest in a potential re-reveal has been piqued. Final Fantasy Versus XIII moved to a new platform (as Final Fantasy XV) after years of development hell; why can’t The Last Guardian do the same?
Truly, though we can say the same thing every year until the game is cancelled, our chances of seeing The Last Guardian at E3 have never been higher than this year. The game is farther along in development than ever, and very few announced PlayStation 4 exclusives are on the horizon. We know about The Order: 1886, Driveclub, and the next Uncharted. Unannounced titles like Project Beast are worthy of attention, as well. But with so many first-party studios working on unannounced PS4 titles, Sony’s true “next-gen” hand has yet to be played. An E3 re-reveal of The Last Guardian, due for release late 2014 or early 2015, would be an ace in the hole, even topping announcements from Media Molecule, Guerrilla Games, Bend Studio, Santa Monica Studio, and others.
To make matters even more interesting, we’ve heard more news about The Last Guardian’s fate in the last several months than in the last few years combined. So much word has come out from Sony executives and creative director Fumito Ueda himself that it’s easier to share what’s happened in a timeline (below).
I do think we’ll see The Last Guardian at Sony’s E3 2014 press conference, and I think a release window will come alongside it. The rest of PSU was confident enough in my assertion to include it in our huge list of E3 2014 predictions. From PlayStation 4’s momentum to wry teases from Sony and the very landscape of forthcoming releases, the time is right.
Is The Last Guardian poised to make a comeback at E3 2014? Is it still targeting PS3, or does PS4 have its next big exclusive? Join the conversation in our comments below and in our official forums. Our pre-E3 discussion will continue all this week.
The Last Guardian – What’s happened since last year?
Feb. 22, 2013: Sony is waiting for the ‘right time’ to show off The Last Guardian.
Mar. 15, 2013: Sony Santa Monica confirms it isn’t aiding development on The Last Guardian.
June 3, 2013: The Last Guardian is teased for E3 by the show’s official companion magazine.
June 11, 2013: The Last Guardian is rumored cancelled by virtue of not showing up at Sony’s E3 presser. Jack Tretton says it’s on hiatus, but Shuhei Yoshida says he misspoke.
June 12, 2013: Shuhei Yoshida speaks publicly about the confusion: development is “alive and kicking,” but Sony is waiting for the right time to show it again.
Aug. 21, 2013: The Last Guardian isn’t the top priority for Japan Studio.
Oct. 3, 2013: Yoshida says development never stopped.
Nov. 15, 2013: Yoshida teases that The Last Guardian has moved to PlayStation 4.
Nov. 19, 2013: Ueda apologizes for the long delay. He says the game’s release, and the details behind it, are out of his control.
Nov. 22, 2013: Ueda wants to make a zombie game! Bu-but…
Dec. 17, 2013: Ueda hopes PS4 will speed up game development.
Mar. 13, 2014: Sony’s Scott Rhodes vaguely states that The Last Guardian is “still in the mix” at Sony Worldwide Studios.
Apr. 10, 2014: Famitsu thinks we’ll hear The Last Guardian’s release date soon. Like, E3 2014 soon?