The Last Guardian to ship 'when absolutely ready' - Sony

E3 2012: Sony exec says long-in-development action game skipped E3 again so Team Ico could focus on innovation and quality.

LOS ANGELES--The Last Guardian will ship "when it is absolutely ready," Sony senior vice president of product development Scott Rohde told GameSpot this afternoon. The executive explained that the long-in-development action game was not at E3 this year because developer Team Ico is focused on building the best game possible.

The Last Guardian has been a long time coming.

"I will not give you a detailed update, but I will say one thing. It goes back in my mind to innovation and to gamers and to quality," he said. "That title is going to ship when it is absolutely ready."

Rohde went on to explain that Sony has no deadline whatsoever for The Last Guardian.

"And I think that's a really important thing to remember, that it would be very easy to ship a game when it's not quite ready because we need to meet a business plan," he said. "Gamers are first. And the experience that we provide is first. And that's why we're going to talk about that game when we're ready to talk about it."

The last official word Sony gave on The Last Guardian came in February, when Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida said development on the game has been "tough."

Formally announced at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo, The Last Guardian tells a boy-and-his-dog tale, where the dog is a giant feathered, yet seemingly amiable, beast. Team Ico has not been forthcoming with specific plot details, but gameplay will involve the boy manipulating his companion to navigate a variety of environmental puzzles.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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154 comments
LeoLex_
LeoLex_

This will now quite clearly be a next gen monster, the last guardian will be a release title showing off the awesome power of the 4....

 

Briantb_2008
Briantb_2008

It wasnt canceled so thats good and the fact that there giving it time to be a great game is a good thing. Thou danm it that I still have to wait to play hopefully it dosent take a 10 to 12 years like Billizard likes to do with there squels.

cheamo
cheamo

They just couldn't afford to get them to the conference lol.

S_Pac_316
S_Pac_316

I hope this won't be another Duke Nukem Forever scenario...

X-RS
X-RS

CORRECT!

=D

GalvatronType_R
GalvatronType_R

The fact that Sony showed NOTHING of the Last Guardian, not even a prerendered video, tells me that it is in deep trouble/development hell.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Well.. maybe we'll see more NEXT E3.

 

Still plenty of gaming between now and whenever it gets released.  I can wait.

Uesugi-dono
Uesugi-dono

Hell yeah.  Gamers are first... it's about time SOMEONE in the business thought that again.

JesperJotun
JesperJotun

You know, as long as it doesn't suffer from the "Duke Nukem Forever" syndrome, or in my opinion the Blizzard Syndrome. 

 

In other words, take 10 years to create, generate massive hype, then drop and have so many technical issues, bugs and player issues that I'll run the other direction. 

 

I LOVED SoC so I'm confident that this will be quite alright when it drops. So I'll sit patiently and pick it up when it comes out and enjoy it. Simple as that.

XanderZane
XanderZane

This is Sony telling everyone, "We don't really have a clue when the game will be done or if it may get canceled somewhere down the road. It's pretty obvious that Sony thought this game would be done some 2 yrs ago, but due to people leaving  and other problems within the development team, they no longer know what's going on. i expect this will get released on the PS4 in 2014. lol!!

gtkyzur
gtkyzur

This is sony spin for they have no idea when or even if this is ever coming out.

gregdn22
gregdn22

I think that they are saving this to be a PS4 launch title.  They probably didn't intend for it to be one, but with all of the hype for the game to come out, it not only will give them plenty of time to make an amazing game, but also should result in big sales.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

I'm sure it will come out with the PS4. 8-)

keyblade42
keyblade42

Oh God It always makes me nervous when stuff like this happens. I just don't want another Earthbound 64 to come along. At least this isn't like Half-Life 3 which we have heard NOTHING about.

kajanguyen
kajanguyen

I'm tired of waiting!! release it with final fantasy versus 13 already!!

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

I am a patient guy but I know that long development times don't necessarily mean perfect games and I know this is more akin to trouble deciding on how to actually make the game fun and emotional (since they're probably struggling to convey that) than it is making it perfect. Half-life 2, Diablo 3, Too Human, Gran Turismo 5 etc. are examples of games that took way too long to come out and while hitting above the standard still never quite met expectation. Not that they're bad as I currently play D3 as my main game I clock my time into but these games weren't revolutionary and all that time in development isn't going to stop D3 needing patch after patch before it hits the sweet spot.

 

The Last Guardian  will be a good game when it finally comes out but I'm not expecting something epic, if it was epic it'd already be out by now since the developers would have been happy with what they achieved and not questioning and delaying it so they can try and make it right. I've read that they are struggling with the title and that is simply the reason they have gone quiet on it, hopefully it turns out good anyway and like I said I am patient so I'll wait and see since I do want it.

Incubus420
Incubus420

Sounds random to me.  But to be honest, Sony should really focus on the Vita and let the development of PS3 titles come as they please.  With the announcement of the next Gen systems around the corner it will be good for Sony to keep a title like this in their back pocket for all the people that will get the PS3 once the price drops. 

FadersAltAcct
FadersAltAcct

"we haven't made the game, we aren't working on the game, but we can't admit that because apparently there is still some money to be made off this project somewhere."

oldschoolvandal
oldschoolvandal

Totally support the "quality first" statement and really don't care if it takes another 4 years of development but some gameplay should be available to make me believe it will be released.

At this point and based on the evidence available, it looks to me that the project was abandoned but due to the hype over team Ico they cannot say it out loud.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Last Guardian is looking like it will be the PS3's 'swansong' game - if it ever gets a release at all :(

Witchsight
Witchsight

So the game thousands of people bought PS3's for, didnt even show for E3 2012? Ouch.

buying1999
buying1999

I just read on eurogamer that this game is having technical difficulties. I guess the over priced internet ready blu ray player just can't handle this game. We probably won't get this until ps4.

 

Xbox 360 is the BEST console EVER made. --John Carmack

littleb75
littleb75

just kill it for ps3 and make a launch title for ps4.  by the time it comes out for this gen console the game will probably feel like a awsome game 2009. why not just let the dog fly out of the gate for 2014. whats another 2 years on top of 6 years it has been making so far.

drakekratos
drakekratos

sounds like the same crap they said about GT5.

 

Sony japan is really slacking off

Elann2008
Elann2008

Also the way I see it, they need to release this game by next year.  PS4 is already coming in at least 2014-2015.  They're running out of time, and they've used plenty of it.

Elann2008
Elann2008

Before anyone starts rattling any cages, I will be buying this game day one.  But it comes a point in time where games that go in development limbo, is getting old and stupid.  Show us something.  It has been years.  I understand the ship till it's ready attitude, which Blizzard has already destroyed its very own self-proclaimed motto with Diablo 3's troubled launch (I own D3, love it , but launch was bad). 

 

I think it's silly that they're digging themselves a hole deeper and deeper.  Release it already.  It's not cool any more.

ohms
ohms

 @Sevolich How can prolonging development cycle make more profit to publisher; cares to explain?

InnerSenses
InnerSenses

 @Sevolich What rubbish. Team Ico started up 15 years ago, and in that time they have released two games.

Another Sony first-party company, Naughty Dog, has released ELEVEN games in the last 15 years.

Insomniac released exclusively on Playstation for the last 15 years and released 14 games in that time.

Sucker Punch has released 6 games for Sony since 2002.

 

If your theory that Sony is simply holding back The Last Guardian is correct, then obviously Sony has been bullying Team Ico for 15 years by holding back its games from being released for so long, while letting all its other studios publish new games regularly. Do you think that Team Ico's employees are just sitting on their arses doing nothing?

Spacerac
Spacerac

 @dr_jashugan Logistically, it doesn't make sense for it to be a PS4 game. The game is taking so long because of the issues the dev team is having working with the *current* hardware. Now they're going to have all NEW issues working on NEW hardware? No.

Incubus420
Incubus420

 @Witchsight noon-bought the PS3 because of this game.  They maybe got it with anticipation of this title also being released, however, had the pleasure of enjoying great exclusives like Uncharted, Killzone, infomus etc. 

Furwings
Furwings

 @buying1999  You are the world heavyweight champion troll of the gaming universe. Congratulations. You'd think you were on Micro$oft's payroll. Not even Major Nelson defends the 360 as much as you. I love how you just won't let that quote from Carmack die. Even though in that very same article he said that RAGE on the PS3 actually outperforms the 360 version due to the Cell CPU. Go ahead, look it up. What Carmack was referring to is the fact the 360 is easier to develop for. Not entirely surprising coming from a traditionally PC-only developer like id. 

 

If you like having to pay to play online, great. If you like having to buy battery packs for your controllers, great. If you've enjoyed no doubt having to purchase 2 or 3 of one console over the last 6.5 years due to hardware issues, great. If you're such an Xbox fanboy that you'd deny yourself the opportunity to play great exclusive games like Uncharted, Infamous, God of War, Heavy Rain, and many more GREAT!

 

Just, for the love of all that is sacred, SHUT THE F_CK UP ABOUT IT ALREADY!!!

digi-demon
digi-demon

 @buying1999 Why are you posting on here - oh, I see, so your still waiting for those three goats eh :P 

Get back to the Xbox forum dwad :P

Tayzi
Tayzi

 @littleb75

 great titles are sometimes released extremely late into a console's life cycle, even to the point that the successor is already out - take okami, released on ps2 after the ps3 was released, and it's follow up on the ds, as the 3ds was released - both great titles and both are in a similar vein to project ico titles, in that they arent the hugest of sellers, but those that do play them appreciate them for the fantastic gaming experience they provide.

Zaradis
Zaradis

 @littleb75 Hold onto that thought buddy because it won't surprise me if that's exactly what is being done

inkyspot
inkyspot

 @mjc0961

 When and if it does finally comes out, you and everyone saying that will "Give a damn"

Elann2008
Elann2008

Think about how long this game has been in development... the cost going into it.  Even if they were to release it in ANOTHER year or two... the cost.  I bet it will sell at the most 3 million.  Not even enough to cover the blood, sweat, and tears.

FinalApokylypse
FinalApokylypse

 @Elann2008 

Until there's a sense of a release period on the horizon they are unlikely to show any footage of the game. This is because they would only garner expectations and then people would grow frustrated over time, particularly as this title has already gained hype then lost it over time.

 

As far as your cost argument goes, I would say it's really more likely a double edged sword here, on the one hand you could release it at a sooner date (assuming the complications are not game-breaking/can be fixed) to a less than satisfactory reception and cut production costs. Alternatively they can refine the game to a more satisfactory level, resulting in higher production costs but a more satisfactory reception and more sales. Both strategies have their ups and downs, the path they seem to be taking is the more risky of the two options but potentially more profitable.Having said that I would still think they would ultimately lose money overall on this game whichever route they take which is unfortunate.

 

Also as for the PS4, I think it's irrelevant. Even if the game get's released a year after the PS4 is released. The PS3 will still have the predominant user base over the PS4. Just look at the previous console generations and their adoption rates.

 

 

ObeseChipmunk
ObeseChipmunk

 @InnerSenses 

The quality of Team Ico's games are practically unmatched. They are unique in every way, not like the rehashed titles of Naughty Dog and Insomniac which follow the same formula over and over (not to say that those games are bad, or that they follow the same formula to the extent that CoD shamefully does). You just can't compare these guys to those other developers. Let them take their time and create a master piece.

badform
badform

 @Incubus420 I decided to buy a PS3 mainly for 5 games; MGS4, FF 13, FF vs 13, Tekken 6 & team ico next title. Even though it wasn't announced yet. It was one if the reasons I boght a PS3. Which I bought at the time of MGS4 release.

Witchsight
Witchsight

@Incubus420 Thats the point, it was announced along with Killzone etc as a promised upcoming title. Perhaps youre underestimating gamers desire to see the finale to ICO and SotC?

digi-demon
digi-demon

 @Furwings Sorry but imo the underperforming CELL CPU is the weakest link in the PS3's hardware [well that and not enough dedicated Vram] - the PS3 is a fine console - just the CPU and Vram limitations suck. 

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@Zaradis @littleb75 That would be a terrible thing to do. If they're taking so long in fine tuning the thing for PS3 and then just shove it on to PS4 it'll look crap. Sure they could optimise it for PS4 but how much more time would that take? I'm worried that Team Ico will be burnt-out after all this time on a single project. I'd rather Sony can the game than release it after it's been in the oven for so long it's gone black and crispy. Let it die with dignity than limp around the streets like an unwanted dog.

neuroboy
neuroboy

@Tayzi @Witchsight @Incubus420 Actually, I did buy a PS3 for this game. Like I bought a PS2 for Ico and SotC. I got the PS3 in October 2010 in anticipation of this being released before Xmas that year as originally stated, and because I wanted a decent Blu-Ray player. I was quite upset when it didn't materialise then, and even more so when it was put back from its 2011 release. More fool me I guess. Oh well, at least I've enjoyed my Blu-Rays... And a dozen or so brilliant PS3 exclusives, including the Ico/SotC HD re-release.

Tayzi
Tayzi

 @Witchsight  @Incubus420

 people don't buy a console based on "upcoming" titles, let alone titles that have been announced as development being started on. they purchase a console because they want to play the games already out, or because friends/family have one and they would like the chance to play with them online.

Furwings
Furwings

 @digi-demon  It's not that the CELL is under-performing at all. One look at ANY of the 3 Uncharted games, The Last of US, God of War III, Ascension, Heavy Rain, Beyond etc clearly show that games built from the ground up on PS3 are a step above multiplatform games & 360 games.

 

The problem is that the 360 is the lead development platform for about 75% of  the multiplatform games on the market. Therefore it's tough to port these games over to the PS3's more complex architecture. Third party publishers don't have time and quite often don't have the budget left to learn how to get around the limted VRAM issue by handing off various graphics-related instructions to the CPU. Sony's in-house studios have clearly mastered this but it's a lot easier when you have 2 or 3 years to develop a game on a single platform and you're a first party studio with all of Sony's resources and backing behind you.

 

And thus the reason why multiplatform games generally run a bit better on the 360, most of the time. Although besides a few exceptions (Skyrim, Bayonetta to name a couple), from late 2008 till present, most times the PS3 version is nearly identical.

 

[PS]:

Just to clarify my original response to buying1999, that shoudl say that Carmack said (in the same article/interview when he said the 360 was the best console ever made) that PARTS of RAGE performed better on the PS3 due to the CELL - not the entire game.