The Last Guardian, the absent PlayStation 3 project from ICO creator Fumito Ueda, is being re-engineered it has emerged, despite not being seen for almost four years.
Sony head of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida told GamesIndustry.biz that the lost PS3 title is still in development at its in-house Japan studio, but with a smaller team.
Ueda announced that he would be leaving Sony, but would still continue work on the game, back in December 2011, shortly after the re-release of his previous titles ICO and Shadow of the Colossus on PS3.
However, Yoshida said in 2012 that work on the PS3 title has continued, albeit at a “slow” rate.
This week, responding to whether the game could appear on PS4, Yoshida said: “We're waiting for the right time to re-introduce The Last Guardian in an appropriate way. I can’t... Well, the game is in development, and it's well staffed, and Ueda-san is here, working – even though he's not a Sony employee, he's dedicated to the product. But we're not ready to update yet.”
The Last Guardian’s executive producer, Yoshifusa Hayama, departed shortly after Ueda, which did not allay fears that the title could be cancelled completely. Earlier reports suggested that the game could be on indefinite “hiatus”, but Yoshida has rebuffed this too.
He added: “Hiatus, I never... It was Jack Tretton! He used that term, and I said no, hiatus is misleading. It was a hiatus in terms of releasing new information. The game has never stopped - the team has always been here. They're going through the re-engineering of the game, so the team size is smaller, because it's more engineering focused right now.”