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The Last Guardian Delayed Again to December

(Image by SIE)

(Image by SIE)

Another delay pushes the anticipated release of The Last Guardian near the end of the year.

The Last Guardian will now launch for PlayStation 4 on Dec. 6, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced on Monday.

The game will also launch on Dec. 7 across Europe and Dec. 9 in the U.K. and Ireland.

Shuhei Yoshida, president of Worldwide Studios for Sony Interactive Entertainment, made the announcement on the PlayStation Blog.

During its E3 conference in June, Sony announced The Last Guardian would launch on Oct. 25. The several week delay is caused by the studios needing more time to fix bugs and other technical issues within the game.

“A delay is a difficult decision, particularly with this game, but we have encountered more bugs than anticipated while in the final stages of development,” Yoshida said. “To ensure that The Last Guardian delivers on the experience that the game’s creators have envisioned, we need to take the extra time to work on those issues.”

The Last Guardian is currently in development from the internal SIE Japan Studio. The game’s director is Fumito Ueda, with his Tokyo-based genDESIGN team also working on its development. Ueda is also the creative mind behind titles like Ico (2001) and Shadow of the Colossus (2005) on the PlayStation 2.

The Last Guardian started in 2007 from Team Ico as a follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus. Originally announced by Sony as a PlayStation 3 game in June 2009 at that year’s E3, The Last Guardian was scheduled to release by 2011’s holiday season. In April 2011 the game was indefinitely delayed past a holiday release with no new official launch date. At some point in 2012 the game’s development transitioned from the PS3 to PS4, further delaying its release.

Sony continued to give sporadic updates on the game’s progress during the next few years but kept mostly silent on what was happening with The Last Guardian. After working at PlayStation since 1997, Ueda left Sony in 2011 but was still contractually tied to finishing the game. In the summer of 2014 Ueda started genDESIGN with former members of Team Ico, with the smaller company continuing to work on The Last Guardian with Sony’s own Japan Studio.

Many thought The Last Guardian had been possibly canceled because of its lengthy delayed release and the game never being showcased at important Sony conferences. An updated launch window was never announced and new gameplay footage wasn’t revealed either, causing further speculation about the game’s troubled development. Over the past several years those at Sony continued to assure that the game was still coming, but had gone through major revisions and challenging technical hurdles. The Last Guardian made a comeback at E3 2015, where Sony reintroduced the game and announced it would launch in 2016.

The Last Guardian follows the story of a young boy and a giant winged creature named Trico. The game will revolve around the relationship between the two as they travel through ancient ruins together.

Watch the game’s latest trailer from E3:

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