Even with The Last Guardian’s lengthy development cycle and move from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4, Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida revealed that it actually has a much smaller budget than Guerrilla’s Horizon Zero Dawn.
Asked by Eurogamer if The Last Guardian was one of the most expensive games Sony has ever made, Shuhei replied:
No, no, not at all. The team is much smaller. Teams in Japan are much smaller in general than teams in the US and Europe… Horizon is a much bigger budget title than The Last Guardian! It’s not so small, it’s much bigger than Ico or Shadow of the Colossus, but it’s not a US or European-style budget.
After clearing up that Mark Cerny simply “spent lots of time giving advice,” rather than taking over The Last Guardian development, Yoshida explained how the vision of the game hasn’t changed over the last four years:
So, [Fumito Ueda], his style of development is very set out, clear, like a vision, at the beginning of the project. It was the case for Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Because he is an artist, he creates a short video to show to the team members, this is what we make. So the vision is totally the same. Because of the technical difficulty, running the game at the frame-rate required that the team look to compromise some features – the number of characters that Ueda-san wanted to do – if we were to continue on PS3. But because we moved to PS4, now he can make what he wanted. So people say it looks like the same game – there’s a reason!
As for how the development of The Last Guardian is being handled, Shuhei says, “Ueda-san and Gen Design and Japan Studios are three groups working as one team.” Created by Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Lead Programmer Jinji Horagai, Gen Design also includes lead animators and character designers from Colossus and “creates lots of the creative side of content for the Japan Studio team to implement.” Ueda, meanwhile, “does the overall direction of the game design, art direction, and animation.”
Asked if he’d ever want to work with Ueda after The Last Guardian, Shuhei nodded and said, “Everyone would! But we have to finish this first!”
Horizon Zero Dawn Budget Bigger Than The Last Guardian