What Happened To The Last Guardian 

What Happened To The Last Guardian 

The Last Guardian, announced in 2009 for PS3 and shown again to shocked PlayStation fans at E3 yesterday, became a PS4 game in 2012. So explained Sony’s head of game development, Shuhei Yoshida, as we finally chatted about what has been happening with Sony’s game about a boy and his giant animal friend.

The game made its debut at E3 in 2009, stunning gamers eager for the next creation from Fumito Ueda and his team responsible for the quiet, lovely PS2 adventures Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. But it’s been missing in action for years, turning into Sony’s very own Half-Life 3.

Yoshida said that when the game was announced in 2009 for PS3, they thought they were making good progress.

“But in 2011 the progress became super slow. There were lots of technical issues. The game was not performing at speed. The video we showed, the trailer on PS3, was specced up. The game was running at a much lower frame rate. Some features were still missing.

“So it was clear that the team had to make a compromise in terms of features and number of characters so while they were taking time, the engineering team ported the code on the SPU [processors of the PS3] to improve the performance, but it was taking lots of time.

“But, in the meantime PS4 arrived, the development environment was available. So in 2012 it became apparent we should move it to PS4 to achieve the visual [ideal.]”

Yoshida said that the rumour that veteran game designer and programmer Mark Cerny had been brought in to save the project were incorrect. “Mark has been consulting many of the first-party teams and projects, giving advice on the tech side — not just him but other central tech groups we have from the U.S. and U.K. have been helping the team as well.”

Ueda, who technically left Sony in 2011, is still very much involved in the game. Yoshida said he is in charge of art direction, animation direction, game design direction, among other things.

Why finally show the game?

“The game is totally playable,” he said proudly, noting that Sony simply didn’t play it live during their E3 presentation because the artificial intelligence behind the big animal can’t be expected to behave in the most stage-demo-friendly way all the time. “We have a certain level of confidence about the launch window, which is why we showed it.”

The Last Guardian will be out next year on PS4.


  • It’s SOOOOO gonna be delayed. Q4 2016. #believe :p

    But seriously, I’m just glad it’s alive. Can’t wait to play it next year.

    • Yeah…this is going to be a long wait…hopefully the price of the PS4 will have dropped a little further and I’ll pick is (and this and many other games) up for it.

  • Will never live up to the years of everyones expectations growing and growing…

    7.8 Final score

  • It’s enough that it exists. The release date is immaterial. It will be playable. That is all the fans have wanted. To play it!

  • I’m just glad it’s still a thing.
    Team Ico’s games are unique – you either like thenm or you don’t. And they don’t succeed or fail based on the same factors you place on titles from other mainstream studios.
    I’m keen to play it – I have no expectations and am blessedly devoid of hype. It will be what it’ll be and I’ll play it. I’ll enjoy it or I won’t.

    • The hazy, overblown highlight look is a stylistic decision. It’s pretty typical of Team ICO games.

      I like it, myself. It’s all part of the atmosphere. Gives everything a slightly unreal look. It all works well when you play the game.

  • So we had Duke Nukem Forever release a few years ago…
    The Last Guardian is finally out of developer hell…
    Shenmue 3 reached its Kickstarter goal in less than 24 hours…
    Final Fantasy VII is finally getting a remake after years of teasing…

    Gabe Newell, you know what you have to do…

  • Yup, as I’ve said in the past, they moved the game to the PS4, and that was half the reason why the game was taking so long. They had to develop an engine for the PS3, and then another one for the PS4.

    Looks like the move also had game design flowthroughs as well. They probably re-designed the game for the limited resources of the PS3, and again when they moved to the PS4.

    Probably could have saved years off development if someone, right from the start, said that this should be a PS4 game. Well, it’s all obvious in hindsight.

  • Bull-shot, photo-mode, specced-up, will it ever end?
    Give me back the days where games looked exactly like their box covers.
    Ahh C64 with your Amiga screenshot lies…

  • Glad its still kicking. I use to be so pumped for this, but all the delays and no information has left me in a “meh” mood.

    But i got this strange feeling that when it does come out… it will be a game designed for 2011 rather than 2016.

    Nowadays with all the indie titles being released on steam and being exposed to so many great ideas and concepts, i am not sure if this game will surprise me much anymore.

    Im hoping it will be another timeless game like colossus, but i think it will end up more like a powered up version of ICO with the monster being the girl you are leading around.

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