It’s been a while since we last checked in with Fumito Ueda and his studio, GenDesign. However, in a recent interview, the creative mind behind PlayStation 2 classics ICO and Shadow of the Colossus – as well as 2016’s The Last Guardian – has shed some new light on the development of his latest project.
In the Polygon interview, he details the partnership between GenDesign and digital entertainment investment firm, Kowloon Nights. According to Ueda, this funding has been vital in allowing him and his team to sculpt a very early version of their unannounced game without having to shoulder the burden of financing it themselves. They are now hoping to pitch this unannounced game to a publisher.
The article reads:
“In Ueda’s case, the team “made no promises of an actual game that would be commercially released,” Ueda tells Polygon. The arrangement let the team focus on the game’s design, research, and development.
“They’re able to grasp the idea by just showing them a gray-box level, which eliminates the need for us to prepare an extensive presentation,” Ueda says. “That valuable time is spent working on the actual game instead. When the partner isn’t as familiar with production and the steps of creating a game, there is a tendency to care more about the visuals, thus spending extra time perfecting that aspect rather than the core of the game’s design.”
Needless to say, GenDesign’s latest project is in its very early stages though Ueda believes they’re onto something special. In terms of potential publishers, there are a number of candidates with companies such as Namco Bandai, Square Enix, Sega, as well as Nintendo which seems to be taking more risks now that its been buoyed by the success of its Switch hybrid console.
Sony seems like the obvious pick for sure and it may well end up partnering with GenDesign for a fourth Ueda-helmed video game. However, with The Last Guardian having taken so long to release (to the point where it became an entrenched meme) there may be some slight reluctance there.