One of the biggest stories in the last decade of gaming is the development and ultimate completion of The Last Guardian, a game that defied all odds by escaping development hell and finally releasing in December 2016. While the game mostly recieved praise and, like director Fumito Ueda’s other games, has amassed a major cult following over the year, developer genDESIGN went quiet once again after its release to work on its next project. After over five years since the release of The Last Guardian, a new year’s tease by director Fumito Ueda hints that the team is preparing to announce its next game.
Development studio genDESIGN was founded in 2014 by director Fumito Ueda during the long development of The Last Guardian, which is composed of many of the staff that worked at Japan Studio’s Team Ico during the development of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus on the PlayStation 2. After two years, the developer was able to complete the ex-PlayStation 3 title, releasing it on PS4 in December 2016. After this, it appears that the company cut its ties with Sony.
The last fans heard of genDESIGN was in March 2020, where it was revealed that the studio, along with Control developer Remedy Entertainment and Inside developer Playdead, had signed a deal with Epic Games to publish its next game as a multi-platform title, with the two companies splitting the profits from the game in half, a surprisingly hefty cut for genDESIGN given Epic’s power in the modern games industry.
At the end of 2020, the developer released a holiday greetings card which featured characters from Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian, but also hinted at the studio’s next game. On New Year’s Eve, the genDESIGN Twitter account released a post seemingly written by Ueda himself which states “Happy new year. In 2022, I will do my best to make some new announcements” while also linking to job listings at genDESIGN and featuring art of a tiger to commemorate the new year.
While it would be easy to assume that this is instant confirmation that a new game from genDESIGN will be announced this year, it might also be careful to take it with a pinch of salt given how long The Last Guardian took to release. What is known about the project is that it might some way reference “Beauty and the Beast,” it will be the studio’s first multi-platform title, meaning it’s likely to release on Nintendo and Xbox platforms as well as PlayStation, and it could possibly use Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 given the studio’s partnership with the publisher.
The Last Guardian is available now, exclusively for PlayStation 4. The game is included as part of The PlayStation Plus Collection on PS5.