The Last Guardian — translated as "Trico, the man-eating eagle" in Japanese — has become somewhat of a rarely sighted unicorn in the gaming world. No one quite knows whether it exists as a full experience nor whether it will meet its tentative '2016' release date.
The title, which shares many stylistic similarities with the studio's previous critically lauded output, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, began development back in 2007. Two console generations, eight years, and many presumed iterations later, we're still waiting to get our hands on it.
Check out the original trailer reveal from E3 2009 below:
What makes the game's repeated delays that much more baffling is how little the core game appears to have changed since we first saw it. So, what has the team at Sony been up to all these years and why has it taken so long for the game to reach consoles?
Creative director Fumito Ueda —who claims the extended development time was "completely unexpected" — has some interesting answers.
"It's been about 10 years since the previous title was released, but it's not like we've been in active development for all those 10 years."
Obviously, moving from the PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 raised a number of new challenges but also led to the team being somewhat freed up by the new console's improved hardware. Even so, when the team began work on the project, no one anticipated that it would span generations. As Ueda admits:
"One of the missions of The Last Guardian was that we wanted to create something good in a short period of time, so the fact that it took a long time to develop was completely unexpected for me."
The game itself, however, has changed very little, with the original design intent remaining constant throughout:
"In terms of the game design we haven't changed it since the very beginning. We have made some minor changes but the idea that the boy hangs on to Trico and moves to places that the boy would not have been able to go to by himself is the main concept for this game."
"I've never been on a game that has taken so long to develop so part of me feels sad but a part of me feels like I just want to complete it."
Watch the full interview below:
Are you still interested in The Last Guardian at this point? Or has your interested fizzled over the years? Let us know in the comments below!