Ever since “The Last Guardian” was revealed to be in-development (2007), gamers around the world have been looking forward to getting their hands on this action-adventure puzzle game, the spiritual successor to “Ico” and “Shadow of the Colossus”. When we saw the 2009 year E3 trailer for the game, most of us expected to see the game released within the next year or so, as it was supposedly set to become available for purchase in 2010. Oddly enough, the year passed quickly with a number of video games making their mark on the year, “The Last Guardian” was not one of them. The game was not released, instead it was revealed that “The Last Guardian” had been delayed. In 2011, gamers were expecting to see the highly anticipated video game arrive in-stores, yet another year went by without the game being released. “The Last Guardian” was pushed back again and again, with very little information being released to the public, making us wait year after year for small amounts of information that did not tell us anything about the release date of the game. It is 2014, “The Last Guardian” has yet not been released.
The game has now become a hot topic of discussion, with gamers debating over the likelyhood of “The Last Guardian” ever seeing the light of day. It has become somewhat of an urban legend if you will, a game that is supposedly in-development, although very little information is being shared, and it is supposedly still on track to be released within the next few years. With the game being put on hold a number of times, Sony is pushing away Team Ico’s loyal fanbase, with a number of people that were working on the game leaving because Sony is for whatever reason not yet ready to release “The Last Guardian”. Game designer Fumito Ueda left Sony Computer Entertainment as first-party developer in 2011, yet is still under contract to finish the game. He was not the only one to go, as supposed internal conflicts made a few other Team Ico members leave the project and say they are done with it, as if to say that they have given up on what seems to be like a dead project. Who can blame them though? Team Ico has wanted to see the game get released a long time ago, whatever the conflicts may be, it is odd to put such a game as “The Last Guardian” on hiatus to work on other, less important project.
It looks like the game’s future is grim, as just a few weeks ago, Sony Worldwide Studios’ president Shuhei Yoshida told gaming website Eurogamer that the fans should keep waiting for the game. Here is what he had to say: “People are going through this roller coaster of emotions, and it’s our fault for not releasing the game, yet. We owe a lot of those people, but we really don’t want to release piecemeal information until we can say this is ‘The Last Guardian’ – so we ask you to wait.”
While indeed an honest answer to a question regarding the game but is that it? That is the answer we get after years of waiting for the game, that we are supposed to keep on waiting, yet it still does not give us anything to go on as it is simply a political answer. Don’t get me wrong, “The Last Guardian” will be highly anticipated until the day it gets released, much like “Duke Nukem Forever”, but what if the game does not live up to the expectations we have of it? Should we simply turn our heads and look the other way as they try to release a mediocre game on us when they could’ve obviously released it years earlier when it would have made more sense? God forbid it turns out like “Duke Nukem Forever”, making me wonder exactly how much is it worth to release a game that has been in-development for 7 years, largely because of internal issues and unexplained delays.
Some say that the game will never be released, believing that the hype is slowly but surely dying out, making it a waste of time to put our time and efforts into a game that may never hit consoles. Others believe that they are indeed working on improving the game, making it better than it was a few years ago, and with the release of the PlayStation 4, some believe they are re-working the game for the recently released console. Whichever way you lean, the questions may never get answers as Shuhei Yoshida himself said that they owe us but that we need to keep on waiting. It seems like 7 years is not enough to finish a game promised to be released after 3 years of development… and sadly enough it seems as if our wait for “The Last Guardian” has just begun.