By Tom Tolios / February 18th, 2015
On February 16th, 2015, it was discovered that Sony had abandoned the trademark for The Last Guardian. This incident seemed to be the nail in the coffin for the much beleaguered project, which had already suffered numerous delays, setbacks, staff changes and the decision to move the game from the PS3 to the PS4, further extending the development cycle. All of the controversies swirling around the completion of The Last Guardian had already given rise to growing concern that the game was never going to be released. And then this happened.
The trademark abandonment certainly didn’t bolster market confidence, and it seemed as though everyone was set for an entirely different kind of heartbreak than initially expected from the game, which was to center around a boy and a giant creature that appeared to befriend him and protect him from harm. The early footage had a melancholy feel to it, and although nothing was known of the storyline for the game, it seemed poised to give the fans a tale of wonderment, excitement, adventure and potential tragedy. Team Ico, the developers of The Last Guardian, already had a reputation for delivering bittersweet narrative experiences, as anyone who has played Ico or Shadow of the Colossus can confirm.
Numerous media outlets are now reporting, however, that The Last Guardian is not being abandoned, and that the trademark lapse was a mistake and not intended to indicate the game had been cancelled. Sony has already established a petition to revive the abandoned trademark. This is certainly good news, as many people have been waiting far too long for The Last Guardian to see a release. The fans’ devotion despite the many delays is a testament to Team Ico’s skill and ability to connect with their audience through a combination of innovative game mechanics, intuitive storytelling and breathtaking visuals that make a strong argument for video games to be considered works of art.
There is no release date for The Last Guardian just yet, but Sony’s actions indicate they still see the potential that this title has to be a real game changer. Let’s all hope that it’s worth the wait and wish Sony and Team Ico the best as they move forward.
SonyTeam IcoThe Last Guardian