Time and Hype Killed A Gaming Masterpiece; Story of The Last Guardian's Death 7 Months After Release

The story behind The Last Guardian's announcement, development roller coaster and how time and expectation killed what could have been a gaming masterpiece.

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Player124503d ago

A well-written piece really. I think the main reason it got forgotten was because it was buried under too many new major release shortly after so the release date in itself was an issue as well. I actually loved the game and the emotional journey it puts you through with Trico. Wish we had more Tricos in the gaming world.

AspiringProGenji503d ago (Edited 503d ago )

I played the game twice and shelved it. Did I forget about it? Not entirely. The ending and the journey I had with Trico were great. what is this article trying to start really? A niche SP game like this isnt supposed to be still played forever. It doesn't have Mp. This is an one-done experience, but a well done one and very memorable at least to me. And, I can easily come back to play again anytime.

BTW the game sold over a milllion so that is far from being as dead as this article is saying

Player124502d ago

Yes the game managed to deliver a really great story but imo it's not a one-done experience at all. There are so many SP games that keeps you pulling you back to play their storyline again and again. I don't really believe that selling only over a million sales can be called "far from being dead" for a title that was anticipated for 7 years and had this much hype around it. Regardless that it's a Team Ico game and that's how much they normally sell like someone said in a comment below.

Nintendo4Lifex502d ago

So dead rising 4 is considered a flop on a significantly lower user base but last guardian isn't?

AZRoboto502d ago

Dead Rising 4 is the fourth game in one of the HD era's most well-known zombie franchises. The Last Guardian is a niche title that has a bird cat and a child

WilliamSheridan502d ago

So according to AZRoboto... Yes, different standards than Dead Rising. Although the argument you guys made is stupid.

Being the 4th installment means the assets are there and the development costs are reduced. Selling a million is most likely profitable. Creating Guardian from scratch with that crazy development time definitely meant needing more sales.

That being said, I bought both. DR4 I played an hour or so, hated it compared to every single previous entry in the series. Took all the soul from the game and made it an arcade mess. Guardian was fun, but I got bored somewhere in the middle. I plan to go back to it one day and finish the story...

segamaniaco502d ago

Dead rising 4 is on PC
Significantly lower user base?
200 millions user base and didnt sell 900.000 copies

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psyxon502d ago

It didn't get forgotten, though. And a lot of people consider it one of the PS4's best games. One of PLaystation's best games.

UltraNova501d ago (Edited 501d ago )

Exactly, the tLG is already a timeless classic for future generations to discover.

bluefox755502d ago (Edited 502d ago )

I don't think it was all. Certainly not by me, I'll remember that game for years to come. This is a silly piece, I'm not sure where the author got the idea that it's forgotten.

Rude-ro502d ago

"The main reason it got forgotten"
By who? The gaming media?
The fans of the series waited and played it. Their experience is not up for debate.
I am just trying to understand your meaning by saying forgotten. By who?

Retroman501d ago (Edited 501d ago )

It was Crapfest crap . you did not know what to do, where to go with Trico. hopping here, jumping there. in the end had to Fight 3 Trico to return the child back to his Native island .
Waste of time and money . TOTAL CRAPFEST

i approve My personal opinion

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PhoenixUp503d ago (Edited 503d ago )

"In fact, The Last Guardian managed to only snatch the number 7 spot in its debut week, failing to even beat Dead Rising 4, another debut at the time. Keep in mind that Dead Rising 4 was announced in June 2016 and released in December 2016, only 6 months between announcement and release."

Oh so we're comparing these games again huh? Well if I must... 😒

The Last Guardian ultimately ended up selling 1.16 million units.

Dead Rising 4 ultimately ended up selling 650K.

TLG sold similar numbers to its predecessor SotC which sold 1.14 million units on PS2 and 1.32 million units in the collection on PS3.

DR4 sold far below its predecessor DR3 which sold 1.58 million on the same console, and that was a launch title.

Capcom even recently reported that DR4 was unable to cross the million mark and it was also released on PC later on. TLG passed that milestone on only one platform.

"Some may argue that maybe the reason why The Last Guardian didn’t perform as expected is mainly because of its flaws."

By their own respective series sales standards, The Last Guardian performed relatively well as expected while Dead Rising 4 far underperformed its publisher's expectations.

Mostafeto503d ago

I hope this article didn't come across to you as clickbait or just another article for clicks. I never intended for a comparison to be made between Dead Rising 4 and The Last Guardian. However, my only point when mentioning the game was, with all due respect to DR4 fans, that The Last Guardian was a bigger and much more anticipated title than DR4 and people expected it to debut at least amongst the top 3. Something it failed to do. It didn't even get top 5.

On to your other point gentleman, you compared the sales of SotC and TLG. As the numbers prove, if you include all the SotC copies sold on PS2 and PS3, you will find it surpasses TLG by almost double the sales. Something that EXACTLY proves my point. TLG was expected to be a much bigger title for Team Ico, not just a "1.1 or 1.2 Million copies" sold game, it was supposed to sell as a top tier title, and that what the hype, wait, anticipation and excitement should all lead to. Sales and Numbers. So the fact that it sold 1.2 Mil doesn't even live up to "their own respective series sales standards" Compare the marketing and advertisement done for SotC and TLG and you'll understand what I mean. I hope I have made my point clear.

LP-Eleven502d ago

Considering you call the game "forgotten", I'd say the title is clickbait. Yes. The article is a bit more informative (though some of it is all questionable), but outside of that, that title description is inaccurate and paints a much worse picture than what actually happened.

psyxon502d ago (Edited 502d ago )

Of course the sales of SotC would surpass TLG if you compare via two combined platforms. Just stop.

bluefox755502d ago (Edited 502d ago )

It was bigger, and more anticipated, but in the same way a game like Persona is. As in, not expecting huge sales, but it's a game that everyone acknowledges to be important, even if they're not into it personally. I think you're conflating different types of games. Also, like the other guy said, you called it forgotten. That was clearly wording intended to be antagonistic, or bait for clicks. But hey, you got them, people are calling your premise stupid and downvoting your comments. The reason this is happening, the reason people are calling you out, is because it's such a special game. One that stuck with people. One that we didn't "forget", lol.

OB1Biker502d ago (Edited 502d ago )

'time and expectation killed what could have been a gaming masterpiece.'
Are you saying sales have anything to do with a game being a masterpiece?
I don't understand how a SP game can be 'dead'.

xX-oldboy-Xx502d ago

@Mostafato - who exactly was expecting it to be in the top 5? If TLG gets a re-release/remaster in the future like SOC and doesn't do anther 1 million+ then you might have an article.

Just enjoy the fact you get to play these unique games, the way the industry is headed we won't have much choice - other than Indies.

kowan502d ago (Edited 502d ago )

You are comparing the sales of a game that was released YEARS ago to a game that is not even a year old. Not to mention including sales of all the remasters combined, which by the way, were also released years ago. For you to also just use the UK charts as basis to your whole argument is also very questionnable. You talk as if its performance in the UK is the most important basis of its sales performance. Did you not even care to actually research its performance elsewhere? What about digital performance? No? The fact that TLG already sold more than the lifetime sales of all the other individial TeamICO games and remasters in LESS than a year is proof enough to invalidate your point.

501d ago
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PhoenixUp503d ago (Edited 503d ago )

Yet when you look at each game's worldwide debut sales you'll see that TLG still fulfilled people's expectations while DR4 performed far below expectations.

The Last Guardian sold a total of 484K in its first week.

Dead Rising 4 sold a total of 203K in its first week.

Dead Rising franchise was undoubtedly a bigger franchise than the Team ICO Trilogy and it had far more exposure in the media as well. Dead Rising 1-3 sold better than either Ico or Shadow of the Colossus.

The Last Guardian's ability to sell better than Dead Rising 4 however is a testament that people were far more interested in the former title than they were the latter entry.

The latest title in a niche series outselling the latest title in a more mainstream series is not something to be overlooked and swept under the rug.

Why would you compare the combined sales of SotC on two consoles TLG's on only one console though? That logic doesn't make any sense at all and can easily be taken apart. If you were to combine all the sales for everytime Super Mario Bros 1 was released across the various platforms over the years and compare it to the sales of any individual New Super Mario Bros title, you'll clearly see that those NSMB titles' sales would fall short. However you don't need to know rocket science to see that every individual title in the NSMB series has sold quite well on their own merits. Same holds true for TLG. So unless you're going to say that the entire NSMB subseries has sold terribly by Mario expectations by your own logic, then no your point was not proven. In fact your point sir, like this article, was shown to have many holes.

The Last Guardian sold as well as its predecessors. Team ICO games usually sell that much, so if you were expecting this to become something far more mainstream then you only have yourself to blame. Idk what world where a game can sell as well as its predecessors can still be called a commercial failure. And for a title that was considered vaporware for a long time and came out 11 years after its spiritual predecessor, TLG still sold really well for itself.

Player124502d ago

I don't get why everybody is saying this phrase "The Last Guardian sold as well as its predecessors." and justifying it by "Team ICO games usually sell that much." As I said in another comment, The Last Guardian wasn't just another entry in Ico's series. Nor was it supposed to sell just like the other entries. It was supposed to SURPASS them not sell "around" the same as Shadow of the Colossus. Don't tell me you were anticipating Shadow of the Colossus impatiently and went bananas every time you see it mentioned or teased. The Last Guardian was much more anticipated than any other Team Ico game and definitely should have done better.

PhoenixUp502d ago

Where did Sony ever state that they expected TLG to sell more commercially than any other Team ICO game? Can you even provide such a statement from Sony?

Meanwhile I can easily list multiple sources about how Capcom has stated on multiple occasions that Dead Rising 4 has fallen below their expectations.

Your own individual expectation may have been for this niche title to somehow sell millions of consoles, but Sony itself knew what its projected sales were going to be especially since the preorder numbers exceeded their expectations.

Your "anticipation must equal extremely high sales" logic is heavily flawed, and I'll further prove it. Metroid is a beloved franchise but it too is niche. Metroid Prime 3 was a title that many were extremely hyped about, even going so far as to list it among Wii's "Big 3" titles in its first year. Yet while this title sold well, it is not the best selling game in the franchise. That achievement belongs to the original Metroid Prime, a title that had far more controversy leading up to its release.

I can list various other examples of highly anticipated niche titles not selling enough to be considered mainstream if the basic fact that anticipation doesn't always equal high numbers isn't getting through to you. Titles like Gravity Rush 2, Yakuza 0, & Tales of Berseria were highly anticipated yet didn't move huge numberss. Dark Souls 3 was also a highly anticipated game, but you don't see it selling over 5 million. It's complete BS to single TLG out when this is a regular occurrence in this industry.

If you still believe in your flawed logic, then there's not much more to say.

Trez1234502d ago

[email protected] but the last guardian performed better than other team ico games commercially. Almost 500k first week.

xX1NORM1Xx502d ago

Yea thats kinda how i feel but i think dead rising 4s downfall was that it was boring compared to the other dead rising games and once people heard that they stopped buying it

FallenAngel1984503d ago

Team ICO games are titles that have always sold modestly.

Idk how much you were expecting TLG when it's part of a trilogy that has averaged around 1.25 million, and TLG itself sold around that. Don't be surprised if the Shadow of the Colossus remake does similar numbers next year.

So no the masterpiece isn't dead.

AspiringProGenji503d ago

Exactly! Team Ico games are not big sellers and they don't have to be. To say a game is dead because no one is talking about it is absurb
Besides, that can be said about any SP game, but let's pick on TLG

Mostafeto502d ago

I didn't mean to "pick on" The Last Guardian. I chose it because I believe the game deserved a better response and better numbers than it did. I am not attacking TLG specifically but I chose it because, in my opinion, it is simply one of the most emotional and compelling SP games even with its flaws.

moegooner88502d ago (Edited 502d ago )

He is using his own sales expectations as a basis for the article, which is beyond ridiculous. Who cares about research and facts though ? Right.

Player124502d ago

I know the history of Team Ico games, but imo you can't compare their other titles to this one specifically because this one got SO MUCH more attention than any of their previous titles, especially pre-release. Don't tell me you were anticipating Shadow of the Colossus impatiently and went bananas every time you see it mentioned or teased. Even if the dev's other titles did modestly, TLG was supposed to surpass them not be on their level.

Z501502d ago

Ofcourse it got more attention. We live in the social media age. That didn't exists in the PS2 era. BUT, more attention doesn't automatically equate to more sales.

How many PS2's were out in the wild when SotC released? How many PS4's were out in the wild when TLG released? Think about it.

Trez1234502d ago

The game hasn't been out for a year yet and you're comparing it life time sales of other games. My kid just bought a copy recently when the deal for ps exclusives was up. Its done well and saying otherwise doesn't make any sense. It's done better than it's predecessors and a bunch of multiplat games. It's a bit like nier automata in terms of budget and SE was well happy that the game reached 1mil.

And who told you that it was supposed to surpass their level ( which it did) ?

LP-Eleven502d ago (Edited 502d ago )

If you can show us Sony's expectations, your claims of what it what supposed to "pass" will become valid. Right now, you're blowing a lot of hot air and basing your viewpoints on nothing tangible.

Mostafeto502d ago

@Z501 I know we live in the social media age and that advertisement and marketing has progressed so much during the last couple of years. If you want to talk numbers, PS4 had passed 53 million sales and I am sure PS2 had more when SotC released but that's not the point. TLG sold a little over a million, same as SotC, which to me is a little disappointing as it SHOULD have been more. This is just my opinion and I respect yours of course.

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FallenAngel1984502d ago

@ Mos

There are still plenty of other niche titles you could've made an article about.

It really only seems that you made this article just because of the long development cycle, cuz you're overlooking how The Last Guardian is still the highest selling game in the Team ICO Trilogy in less than a year on the market.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Shadow of the Colossus remake due next year sells similar numbers.

@ Player

No crap because we live in a more social era than during the PS2 generation. You're thinking that hype should equal high sales is extremely flawed.

These type of games aren't expected to move millions of units, just sell enough to make it worth the effort of making, which TLG's 1.16 million clearly does. It's the highest selling single game in Team ICO's history and it hasn't even been available for a full year

Marcello502d ago

The most underappreciated masterpiece in gaming history as far as i am concerned. The whole issue with the controls and camera is a complete non issue. IGN & gamespot are clueless for complaining about that, there reviews of games have gone to complete sh!t in recent years. They were once good now they suck, seriously a 5.9 for Alien:Isolation IGN !!

Mostafeto502d ago

"The most underappreciated masterpiece in gaming history" Thanks for saying that because even with all its issues, whether if it was controls, weird camera angles or something else but the game's story and emotional journey was worth it.

stupidusername502d ago

Got to disagree on this one. I've played 8 hours of it before i gave up and I found it majestetic and I was exciited to find out how the main characters bond would develop. BUT the controls camera angles and how Trico sometimes never reacted to my calls just made the game too much of a chore. I get the idea of how Trico will get more obidientafter a while but I couldn't immerse myself and just wanted to get a move on instead of being stuck at the same place for up to a hour seeing the exit but unable to get there as trico wouldn't listen to me.

jwillj2k4501d ago

I liked ico, loved sotc, couldn't stand this game. The controls were so terrible. I tried at least 5 different times to get into it. This game should be a 5/10 solely based on the camera, controls and for how long it had been in development and not have these aspects nailed down. Very disappointing imo.

Marcello501d ago

I think the biggest problem with this game is patience & the lack of it with a lot of gamers. Trico doesnt snap to when you command her, just like a real animal unless food is involved. That is part of the gameplay. Another problem is that people dont understand the ending & to be honest it is vague.

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xX1NORM1Xx502d ago

I dont think it was hype i think it was that all but the hardcore forgot about it its hard to maintain pupblic attention for 1 year let alone 7 i think crackdown 3 if gonna suffer from this to a lesser extent too announcing games super early can really fuck over a great game thats my problem with story driven early acess games too by the time they are done no one cares anymore

Mostafeto502d ago

I really don't want Crackdown 3 to suffer the same fate as the title looks really promising and with new technologies and features as well.

xX1NORM1Xx502d ago

New tech doesnt keep a game relevent in peoples minds even being a good game isnt enough as seen with the last guardian people have alot more than games on their minds its hard to maintain intrest.