The DICE conference at Las Vegas is a great place to meet developers, speak with them about games and the industry in general and get the inside scoop on what’s going on at various companies. And just yesterday, our sister site 1UP was lucky enough to catch up with Sony’s Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida.
Yoshida calls the shots at all of Sony’s 14 first-party studios, and 1Up asked him about the future of one PlayStation 3 exclusive in particular — The Last Guardian. Being developed at Studio Japan by the acclaimed developer Team Ico, The Last Guardian is in a state of development hell, having been delayed in 2011. That was followed by the exit of both the game’s director and producer, with a promise that the game was still in development.
In his conversation with 1Up, Yoshida brought more clarity when asked about The Last Guardian. Yoshida confirmed that he’s “been seeing” the game, and that Fumito Ueda, the mind behind the game, is still working on it on a contractual basis.
“[Ueda] comes in [to the office] every day, and he’s probably one of the people who works the longest hours. The project has been making progress, but slow progress. So that’s tough, but we haven’t changed any focus. It’s still a really important project and a vision we want to see realized, and Fumito’s vision is really causing a very difficult challenge for the developers, so there’s some scrapping and rebuilding – iteration in the process. That’s why [it's taking so long].”
But why did Ueda become a contractor in a first place, after being a full-time employee of Sony? “It’s a personal matter,” Yoshida noted, “so I can’t really say.”
Likewise, a DICE-centric interview with Shuhei Yoshida also appeared on Game Informer. Yoshida confirms to them that The Last Guardian is “playable, but not to the level of when we can say it’s coming [out].”