The long-awaited release of The Last Guardian, originally due back in 2011, was beginning to reach Duke Nukem Forever status until E3 2015, when the game was definitively announced to launch in October 2016. This morning, Sony announced the game is delayed yet again, but only for a few months. The Last Guardian will now release on December 6.
In development since 2007 by Ueda’s original studio Team Ico, The Last Guardian lets players control a young boy who befriends a massive, griffin-like beast named Trico who becomes his caretaker and guardian. Unique to the game is how the player befriends and treats Trico, which is crucial to solving puzzles in order to advance the story.
Announced in 2009, The Last Guardian has endured numerous delays, including hardware difficulties in the transition from PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation 4. Before E3 2015, updates on The Last Guardian had become quiet leading to speculation it had been canceled, until Sony opened its 2015 conference re-introducing the game with an October 2016 release date.
In an update posted on the official PlayStation website, Sony Computer Entertainment President Shuhei Yoshida explains that the development team “encountered more bugs than anticipated” in the game’s final production stages. “To ensure that The Last Guardian delivers on the experience that the game’s creators have envisioned,” writes Yoshida, “we need to take the extra time to work on those issues.”
This is a necessary and sometimes inevitable evil. It’s overall a good thing genDESIGN, JAPAN Studio, and director Fumito Ueda (whom Yoshida cited in his post) want to take more time polishing the game, which comes with sky-high expectations. It would be a nightmare if The Last Guardian were released with numerous bugs.