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22 JUNE 2015

The Last Guardian: a game about the relationship between a boy and a giant griffin-like monster

"When the Japanese game designer Fumito Ueda was a child, he loved to capture and care for wild animals. He was obsessed with the way they moved; and later as a young game designer he imported a copy of the Amiga classic Lemmings, seeing in it something other than a colourful puzzler. 'I sensed life on the TV screen for the first time in my life,' he said.

Since then, he has become famous for games that explore humanity and companionship. After joining Sony Japan's development studio in 1997, he oversaw two of the most fascinating and beautiful action adventures of the PlayStation 2 era: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. These doleful, reflective titles, with their hazy visuals and vast silences, showed us new ways to tell stories and invoke emotions through games. The moment in Ico where the eponymous lead character takes the hand of Yorda, the princess he seeks to rescue from an evil queen, has become one of the great images of the medium.

But then, after the wonderful Shadow of the Colossus – a game that brought themes of loss, grief and the fundamental importance of friendship to the standard monster hunting archetype – came the wilderness years. A game codenamed Project Trico, about the relationship between a boy and a giant griffin-like monster, was mentioned, and then officially announced as The Last Guardian at E3 in 2009. Then years of uncertainty as the project shifted from PS3 to PS4, and Ueda announced his separation from Sony Japan.

Six years later at E3 2015, Sony began its hugely nostalgic press conference with a revelation: The Last Guardian was definitely in production for PS4. We now know that it is a joint project between Sony Japan and a new studio, Gen Design, formed by members of Ueda's old Team Ico group. The release date is a tentative 2016. There is still much work to be done. But you get the feeling that Sony Computer Entertainment chief Shuhei Yoshida, always a fan of Ueda's work, will do whatever it takes to push this through. It is happening."

(Keith Stuart, Friday 19 June 2015)

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TAGS

2016action-adventureadventure game • animal companion • atmospheric presenceboycompanion character • companionship • E3Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)environment as antagonist • epic minimalism • fantasy character • fantasy games • friendship • Fumito Ueda • game designer • Gen Design • giant griffin • grief • griffin • griffon • gryphon • hazy visuals • humanity • Ico (2001) • invoke emotions through games • legendary creaturelossmonster • monster hunting archetype • mythological beingPlaystation 2 • Project Trico • PS3PS4 • Shadow of the Colossus (2006) • Shuhei Yoshida • Sony Computer Entertainment • Sony Japan • tell stories through games • The Last Guardian • treacherous landscapevideo game • wild anima

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 JUNE 2009

WomenGamers.Com

"According to the ESA, 38% of American videogame players and 48% of gaming parents are women. In other countries such as Korea, statistics show as much as 69.5% of women are playing video games. Even so, women's interests continue to be grossly under–represented, leaving women as single largest untapped market segment in the gaming industry.

Our mission is fourfold: first, to provide a fun, dynamic online gaming site that caters to the interests and needs of different types of women gamers. To achieve the widest possible appeal, all game genres are reviewed and discussed. Second, the site serves as a platform or the dissemination of information about games from an informed, socially–conscious, female–centered perspective. Third, WomenGamers.com gathers information from visitors about their gaming preferences, opinions, concerns, and ideas for the future of gaming, and the industry. Fourth, WomenGamers.Com offers a suite of services that includes customized consulting services, market research, and support services to game companies and universities. Its revenues stem mainly from advertising.

Incorporated in 1999, WomenGamers.Com works outside of convention, continually pursuing these goals by doing what no other site has done before. By launching the country's first women's game design scholarships, and setting up a network for women who play video games, buy videogames and work with videogames, WomenGamers.com has built up a reputable brand well–respected in the industry. We work with educational institutions such as DigiPen Institute of Technology, Guildhall at SMU, NC State University, the University of Florida and other colleges to promote participation by women in the gaming industry, specifically in game design, by establishing scholarship programs and offering consulting and lectures on careers in gaming. To date these programs have been and continue to be extremely successful."

(WomenGamers.Com)

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TAGS

computer games • DigiPen • DS • female gamers • females who game • gamecube • gamers • gender • girl gamers • girl games • girls who game • girly games • Nintendo DSPC gamesPlaystationPlaystation 2Playstation 3 • PS2 • PS3PSPvideo gamevideo gamesWii • women gamers • women who game • WomenGamers • XboxXbox 360

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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