The Last Guardian still having “technical difficulties”
posted on 06.06.12 at 09:04 AM EST by (@salromano)
"That's why we don't have an update," says Yoshida.

The Last Guardian will ship “when it is absolutely ready,” that we know. But why exactly was it not at this year’s E3? Because of “technical difficulties,” according to Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida.

“The team is back in Tokyo is working hard, and there are some technical difficulties that the team is focused on right now,” Yoshida told Eurogamer at E3. “That’s why we don’t have an update.”

Asked if the game was still a PlayStation 3 title, a question disguised to see if it’s made the jump to next generation hardware, Yoshida responded: “What does that question mean [is it still a PS3 game]? It is a PS3 game,” he stressed.

But will it ever see release?

“When we have confidence in saying that, we will talk about it,” he answered. “But today, we are working through some engineering effort.”

When we heard from Yoshida on The Last Guardian back in February, Yoshida had said the game was making “slow progress,” and that the team was in the process of “scrapping and rebuilding” some elements. Later that month, Yoshida said tech groups in the U.S. and Europe have come aboard to assist the development team. These issues arose, of course, after Fumito Ueda, the game’s director, left Sony in pursuit of a freelance career. He is still working to finish the project as a contractor, however.

  • thunderbear

    I don’t know the circumstances but I would imagine Sony have given Fumito Ueda all the resources in the world to make this game and for him to leave during its development (even if he’s still working on it as a contractor) is a really shitty thing to do. There better be some really forgiving circumstances for a director to leave his project. If I was in a position of hiring Fumito-san I would definitely want answers to these questions.

    • Sal Romano

      @thunderbear: But he didn’t leave the project. He just left being a Sony employee.

  • NCloud

    Take your time Sony, please don’t rush it.

  • KingOptimus111

    I say its Fumito fault. I feel like the game was already ready perfect when they showed it in 2009 but all these japenese developer want to do is take their damn sweet time.

    Look at Final Fantasy Versus XIII it took Sqaure Enix 5 years to announce it went full developement last September just because Sqaure Enix wanted to focus on that piece of shit Final Fantasy XIII-2 which by the way had most of Versus XIII developers on it before they announce it went full developement.

    Kazunori Yamauchi took forever for Gran Turismo 5 because he kept pushing it back just to keep polishing it when the game was probably already finish.

    I understand its not good to rush a game but come on if its finish and not just the graphics but everything looks amazing to a fans standpoint. Just release the damn game already. Quit trying to polish it to the point when your fans are irritated and just want to play game for the story and gameplay. This is why japan is behind this gen.

    • Sal Romano

      @KingOptimus111: Eh, I wouldn’t be so sure on anything.

      You may feel a game is perfect at one point, but have no idea of where it’s at behind-the-scenes. For all you know, in 2009, only a single area could have been created for The Last Guardian, you know?

      And they’re dealing with technical problems, which is far from polishing. And after that, who knows? There may yet be more game content for the team to create.

      • KingOptimus111

        I understand that but come on showing it in 2009 – 2011 plus the game was already in developement since 2005 thats enough time to release this game at least early 2012 and now I’m starting to lose my hype for the game. I wish they wouldn’t show The Last Guardian and Versus XIII, and see what happen. They going to have a whole bunch of angry fans on their hands yelling that those two games are dead and don’t exist. The point is both games better show up at TGS 2012 or else I’m just giving up on them after a 6 year long wait on slow japan developers who can’t seem to comprehend tech made from japan while developers like Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream seem to understand the tech more better and they’re from Europe and America.

    • Zero

      @KingOptimus111:

      Look at Final Fantasy Versus XIII it took Sqaure Enix 5 years to announce it went full developement last September just because Sqaure Enix wanted to focus on that piece of shit Final Fantasy XIII-2 which by the way had most of Versus XIII developers on it before they announce it went full development.

      They had to stop working on Versus because Crystal Tools was not capable of running the game. They had people working hard on the new engine they just revealed to the public yesterday. It was not because they wanted to focus on XII-2.

      It sounds like a very similar thing is happening to The Last Guardian.

      Later that month, Yoshida said tech groups in the U.S. and Europe have come aboard to assist the development team.

      That more or less says it all.

      (Warning! This is going to be long. This is not directed at any one person. I finished my response to KingOptimus111 above.)

      This is what I think happened….

      I think Fumito Ueda, and the team got in way over their heads.

      Like other Japanese developers. They decided to start developing a game on this generations consoles. The thing is, just like Square-Enix, they highly underestimated that process.

      The portable boom took off in Japan more or less around the time PS3 launched. The cell processor gave western developers issues as well. Sony reached out to those developers, and helped them figure out how to develop games on the PS3. In the mean time, JP developers were more or less still focusing on portable games. (They didn’t realize they would also need help.)

      A few years after PS3 launched, more Japanese Studios started to slowly get involved with this generations consoles.

      Like Square-Enix, most JP studios thought they could take the current engines they had and just plug those into PS3/360 and everything would be fine. (What was ironic about SE, was that they spent a crap ton of cash on Crystal Tools specifically for that purpose, and it failed big time.)

      I think The TLG team started developing the game and made the same mistake. They got so far along with development and started running into problems. The games engine was having issues running the smallest of things, the cell started giving them all sorts of problems.

      In other words, the game turned into a buggy mess. I think stress and frustration started to set in with the team. Then Sony executives in Japan start to pressure the team, asking for status updates and setting deadlines.

      Pride starts to set in, and perhaps it is a bit silly, but the team refuses to admit they are having problems, and they press on trying to fix the game without any help.

      In the end, they finally explain to Sony what the problem is. Sony understands, and that is when Sony contacts tech groups in the U.S. and Europe to assist the development team.

      I would guess that they are currently working hard on the game, and the tech groups are helping to iron out problems with the engine and the games code.

      What about Fumito Ueda? Why did he all of the sudden leave in pursuit of a freelance career? Tough to say, the man himself would have to explain exactly why.

      The pressure might have gotten to him, he was leading the team. He might have snapped under that pressure, once he figured out he was in way over his head. Perhaps he blamed Sony? …Maybe he felt like the team was disrespected? He might have felt like Sony was not fair and asked to much of the team?

      It’s all possible. He might have also just grown disgusted with the state of gaming today. How the world of gaming is becoming a business. Perhaps he felt Sony executives were putting so much pressure on them and restrictions, simply to get more money from the game?

      Remember what happened with Infanue and Capcom? The same type of thing might have happened with Ueda and Sony.

      In Japan, pride is very diverse. The way business and culture mix is interesting. When someone makes a mistake, they sometimes resign or quit. They feel responsible for the problem, and pride tells them to take one for the team more or less.

      Its part of the rich culture in Japan, that dates way back to the era of Samurai.

      So, perhaps Ueda went that route as well? It might have been behind closed doors, but he might have bowed and asked for forgiveness from the higher ups at Sony. He might have resigned and asked them to place the blame on him solely.

      Whatever actually happened, we know that Sony reached out to Ueda. They asked him to please stay on and help the team finish the game. They probably felt like he would keep the team relaxed and allow them to work on the game more effectively. And despite how cruel and harsh business mixed with cultural norms in Japan can be, I think Sony does have great respect for Ueda. They wanted him to finish this project.

      Sorry for the wall of text! This is just my personal opinion of what happened with the game. I’ve been so open when it comes to Versus and SE… I felt like it was time to share my opinion about this game.

      Last but not least, I really want to see this game overcome all the problems and hardships, I want to see it be released and sell millions of copies! Ueda, the team, Sony, the fans, everyone deserves that much.

      /zero out

    • http://www.gamesreflexoes.blogspot.com mateuspradosousa

      @KingOptimus111: XIII-2 is not a piece of shit, shut up

    • xMCXx

      @KingOptimus111:
      Japanese people are perfectionists.
      Also, Japan is in no way behind in this gen.

  • Zero

    This article is not about Versus.

  • rockman29

    Question about the article:

    Do we know Ueda’s leaving SCE, but not the project, is the problem here?

    This statement: “These issues arose, of course, after Fumito Ueda, the game’s director, left Sony in pursuit of a freelance career. He is still working to finish the project as a contractor, however.”

    Is a little bold. We still don’t know why they are having technical difficulties; we only know that they are.

    The problems very well could’ve been happening before Ueda’s departure, we don’t know anything else other than delays are obviously happening.