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'The Last Guardian' cancellation rumor causes Sony to laugh

The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian
Photo courtesy of Sony, used with permission

Despite rumors to the contrary, Sony’s head of Software Product Development, Scott Rhode, squashed the idea that “The Last Guardian” has been cancelled. The PS3, possibly PS4 title, has been long in waiting and has a bit of a troubled development history.

The latest cancellation rumor kicked off with an IGN article stating that an internal source on the project told them “The Last Guardian” was “finally cancelled.” Allegedly, this took place during a “Sony internal meeting last week.”

This was apparently news to not only Rhode but Sony Computer Entertainment President Shuhei Yoshida as well. “@yosp [Yoshida] and I laughed at this rumor over dinner,” Rhode wrote on Twitter. “’The Last Guardian’ has NOT been cancelled.”

Update: IGN officially retracted the story and issued an apology.

"IGN strives to be as accurate as possible in all its reporting and I apologize to our audience, our IGN staff, and Sony for the misrepresentation of the state of The Last Guardian," Editor in Chief Steve Butts wrote. "If it does appear at E3 this year, there will be a lot of happy gamers celebrating in our war room. I will be one of them."

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Whether “The Last Guardian” has been cancelled or not, it has definitely undergone the kind of lengthy development cycle typically reserved for games that are designated vaporware. Development on the title started in 2007 with Team Ico, the developers of “ICO” and “Shadow of the Colossus.” It was officially announced during Sony’s 2009 E3 press conference where it received wide acclaim and a 2011 release date that came and went. This was despite multiple interviews from lead designer Fumito Uesda where it was said the game would be released that year.

Ueda officially left Sony is December 2011 but continued to work on “The Last Guardian” in a contract capacity. The game’s executive producer, Yoshifusa Hayama, also departed at the same time.

The game was then absent from the 2012 and 2013 E3 conventions as well as others. In September 2013, Yoshida told Game Informer that “The Last Guardian” is still being worked on with Ueda, “but we are still waiting for the time to reintroduce it.”

The last official comment on the game prior to today was from Rhode in March of this year. He told IGN the game was still in development but would not say whether it was for the PS4 or PS3.

If “The Last Guardian” does make an appearance at E3 this year, it will be during Sony’s E3 press conference scheduled for Monday, June 9 at 9 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. PDT. It will be available to stream via the PS4 as well as the official Playstation Blog.