Japanese developer Team ICO has been struggling with their upcoming title The Last Guardian. After several delays and disheartening reports of leadership issues, the team has finally started reaching out for help from western development teams.
Speaking to Wired, Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida went into detail regarding what kind of help western studios like Santa Monica are providing:
It’s not just Santa Monica. We have great tech people in Worldwide Studios. We have a central tech group in the US and the UK so we are giving them whatever help they need.
Technically, we have the best engineers in the US and Europe, so these teams are helping them, giving advice.
There’s a vision that we want to realize but it’s very very tough and technical issue that the team is tackling and some plans have to be made to evaluate and go through the process.
Yoshida went on to assure gamers that Ueda is still involved on the project despite the announcement of his departure. Additionally, he was careful to mention that while they’ve made incredible progress on the game, it’s far from completion.
At one point the progress was great, so we talked about the timing of the launch in the past. But now it’s making progress, but still not to the level – it’s playable, but not to the point that we can talk about the timing of launch.
It’s not like he left the making of The Last Guardian. He’s on top of the game and coming into the office. The difference is that he used to be a regular employee. But now we have a contract to define his role. It’s a very special contribution and role that he plays and we agreed, let’s make it more official, more special. That’s the only difference. He never left the team, he’s on top of the game.
While exhaustively long development times are usually a bad sign, let’s hope that the additional help from studios like Santa Monica will aid in making this experience one that has been worth the wait.