Following seven years of development, The Last Guardian released to the PlayStation store this week. The development of video games receives scrutiny from the media, but is it warranted?
Initially announced at the 2009 Entertainment Expo Event in Los Angeles, California, The Last Guardian tells the tale of a boy with no memory sense and the inability to remember even minute details regarding his surroundings. Developed by Team ICO, developers of the acclaimed game Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian came with heavy hype, with an absolutely stunning cinematic trailer that showed off the impressive graphics capable for the PlayStation 3.
The issue with the release of the game is the current year. It’s 2016. Why did this game take seven years to develop, only to be met with lukewarm reviews? Why are situations like this becoming more prevalent throughout the gaming industry?
Gaming giant Ubisoft has become synonymous with disappointing announcements of delay, with two games this calendar year having been delayed: The Division and South Park: The Fractured but Whole.
The answer to these frustrating questions lie in the game producers themselves. Companies like Electronic Arts and the aforementioned Ubisoft attempt to rush out glitchy, buggy, and, at times, unfinished games in order to deliver to the consumer.
EA was caught in backlash with their release of Star Wars: Battlefront, in which half of the content promised on the game was not on the “finished” product. The excuse given was that EA wanted to rush the game out to the public to coincide with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, thinking that it would lead to higher sales.
Developmental issues in Triple-A games (games released from a conglomerate) may have lead to the rise of indie games. Ever heard of Minecraft? Five Nights At Freddie’s? Undertale? Of course you have. The mentioned games come with spectacular reviews and great replayability value, something that Triple-A games have been lacking. Indie, a genre in the gaming world, stands for independent developers, meaning that the developers of the game are not bound by companies like Microsoft or Sony to make games with limitations; they’re free to create how they please.
Indie games are some of the most played games in this current console generation, almost never having the issues that riddle Triple-A games such as unfinished products or delays, possibly becoming the future of gaming. So the scapegoats of my question posed lie at the feet of large developers. Companies like Ubisoft have single handedly muddled the gaming market to the point where consumers are scared to pre-order games. Indie games can be the future, and we can show it.