Sony and genDESIGN’s The Last Guardian appears to be competing for the title of longest development cycle in video games history, to the point where the delays have become almost comical. The follow-up to 2005’s classic Shadow of the Colossus began development way back in 2007 and was officially announced at E3 2009. It then proceeded to drop entirely off the radar with numerous delays, followed by internal troubles at the developer, and a failure to appear at several E3 conventions in a row.

These events led many to believe that the team had given up on the project, or that Sony had quietly cancelled what was once a hotly anticipated title. Just when the game was widely regarded as a ghost by many, it reappeared in a dramatic way at E3 2015, with a beautiful stage, and even more exciting, a release date: October 25, 2016.

Sadly, it looks like The Last Guardian won’t be arriving on time. Shocker.

The PlayStation Blog provided an update on the game’s progress, and revealed the delay, pushing the game’s release back to December 6th. Compared to the game’s previous delays and setbacks, a few weeks of delay seem almost trivial in comparison, but the mere mention of The Last Guardian and “delay” in the same sentence is bound to stir the ire of many who have been patiently waiting for years for the game to release.

Sony Computer Entertainment president Shuhei Yoshida wrote the announcement himself, and was very understanding of the tense nature of the delay:

“Fumito Ueda, gen DESIGN and JAPAN Studio have a wonderful vision for The Last Guardian’s touching, emotional journey of friendship and trust, and we want to deliver the most polished experience possible for our fans who have supported us for so long. 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. 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.”

It’s certainly an understandable reason for a delay, as few games have been as long-awaited as this one, and a buggy release after so much time would be an extreme disappointment.

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