In 2009 gamers were given the first glimpse of The Last Guardian, the debut PlayStation 3 title from the acclaimed creator of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. At the time of that reveal the title had already been in the works for well over a year. The PlayStation 4 just launched last week and we still haven’t gotten the game.
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 recently sat down with Edge Magazine and not only confirmed the game is still very much alive, but also gives some insight into where its development ran into trouble. He left Sony in 2011 to go freelance, leaving many to believe that The Last Guardian would be cancelled. Earlier this year when asked about the game at E3, Sony’s Jack Tretton said development on the title was “on hiatus”. President of Sony Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, was quick to correct Tretton; saying the game was still in active development and they were just not ready to “reintroduce” it yet.
How do you keep your team motivated over a production cycle of five years or more?
Maintaining motivation is all about producing something great. A hobby or alcohol might help to refresh you temporarily, but they won’t motivate creativity. Also, the original staff members on Ico and SOTC 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.
Ueda’s statements pretty much allude to the title being near completion for the PlayStation 3 and possibly scrapped to be rebuilt for the PlayStation 4. He’s been working on another unannounced title since he went freelance, so how heavily he’s been involved in the retooling of the game remains to be unknown. Hopefully fans will not have to wait too much longer.