At the start of 2018, Gen Design - the development studio helmed by Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian creator Fumito Ueda - shared an image of what many suspected to be its next game. Nine months on, Ueda has offered a bit of an update on that mysterious title.
When Eurogamer's Rob Purchese spoke to the respected designer in 2017, seemingly early on in the project's development, Ueda explained that while his usual practice was to create an initial image representing what he wanted to achieve with a game, the ease of modern development tools meant he was hoping to create a prototype this time around.
Now, speaking to Famitsu magazine (as translated by Gematsu) over a year later, it appears that Gen Design's prototyping is well underway. "We're in a stage of various trials," revealed Ueda, "where we're actually making our ideas to test if they're interesting or not". However, it's unclear just how far along prototyping is, with Ueda noting that the developer is currently "working out the core parts first, and from there we'll make it into a stable product."
What is now certain though is that Ueda's next game is a completely new title, and not a sequel to any of his previous creations - although, as fans will know, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian all had clear similarities, despite early intentions to the contrary.
"When I start to create our games, always I think we will create something different," Ueda told Eurogamer last year, "But as a result, in the three games there are some similarities, a feeling. In the process of operation there's a moment when one game links with another." And despite plans to create a "very different" game this time, the image Gen Design released in January, be it directly related to Ueda's new project or not, has an undeniably familiar ambience.
Although the specifics still very much remains a mystery then, Ueda did reveal that, "What we're making now doesn't feel like an indie game", despite the studio's relatively small size. Instead, "We're ultimately aiming for something on the scale of Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian". Hopefully that doesn't mean we're in for another Last-Guardian-sized wait until Ueda's next grand adventure finally rears its head.