And Are We Actually Still Excited About It?
Breaking news: The Last Guardian still hasn't released yet. Team ICO's anticipated title was announced back in 2009, promising all manner of heartbreaking adventure before being heartbreakingly delayed for what feels like an eternity. Fumito Ueda is "terribly sorry" for making fans wait so long, and has explained why he decided to become a freelance contractor on his own game - plus warning us against the fleeting motivation boosts of "hobbies and alcohol."
Following some interesting comments from Sony a few days ago, we have to wonder whether The Last Guardian is now being repurposed as a PS4 title. And, perhaps, whether our excitement has turned to apathy over these last few years.
“Putting aside the short-term output, more than anything I feel terribly sorry that for various reasons I have kept my audience waiting for such a long time,” Ueda told Edge Magazine.
Keeping both himself and Team ICO motivated has apparently been difficult,especially since much of the creative work is already complete. “Maintaining motivation is all about producing something great," Ueda explained. "A hobby or alcohol might help to refresh you temporarily, but they won’t motivate creativity. Also, the original staff members on Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus are just as fussy over details as I am. I always want to create quickly, and I always want to increase the rate of production. In the case of The Last Guardian, my creative work was mostly finished a long time ago, but the details of when, where and how it will be completed are beyond my control.”
As we learned last year, Ueda is now a freelancer rather than a full Sony employee. Apparently he made the decision voluntaril, partly to allow him to work from home, but also to ease a sense of dissatisfaction with his perennial position on a continually-delayed game. "It’s difficult to explain, but in a nutshell it was because I felt a sense of crisis within myself about a lot of things," he mused. "It’s hard to [say exactly what], but in terms of my own growth and career and so on."
"It was not easy, but I can’t go into the details just yet. It will be good to be able to discuss it along with a post-mortem of The Last Guardian someday."
That'd be a fascinating conversation, and something to look forward to, but a post-mortem can only take place after a game actually launches. With Ueda unsure of the details himself, we have to pick at scraps... including a potentially suggestive comment from Sony's Shuhei Yoshida. When asked about what platform The Last Guardian will release on during Sony's PS4 All-Access Event on Spike TV last week, he simply replied “I don’t recall,” - but apparently it "looks pretty."
You tease. You great big tease. The last we heard, The Last Guardian was undergoing "re-engineering," so a next-gen refit looks rather plausible.
I personally know a handful of people who were tempted off the fence into buying a PS3 because of the promise of another Team ICO game, a demand that has gone unfulfilled for an entire console generation (unless you count the ICO/SOTC HD Collection)... and plenty more gamers who have simply stopped caring about whether The Last Guardian ever releases or not. I still want to play it - madly - but countless dashed hopes have certainly taken their toll.
So, dear reader - are you still looking forward to The Last Guardian? And, dare I ask, on what platform?