The Last Guardian named to appeal to western sensibilities

Team Ico’s hotly anticipated high-def debut, The Last Guardian, was given its English title to appeal specifically to the US and European markets, according to Yasuhide Kobayashi, VP of Sony’s Japan Studio, revealed the inspiration behind the upcoming PS3 exclusive’s Western-focused moniker during the DICE Summit Asia, stressing the importance of appealing to a global audience as domestic game sales dwindle.

“There are so many issues we have to solve, and the biggest challenge is that the market in Japan is shrinking — they key is gaining success in the US and Europe,” he said. “At the time of the original PlayStation the Japanese market was one third of the global market, and production costs weren’t that high — so we were able to generate profit from that market alone.

“But now we’re in the era of the PlayStation 3, and the Japanese market is only one fifth of the global market — when it comes to production costs, those are swelling, so it means that unless we gain success in the overseas market our studio will go bankrupt. It’s a crisis we recognize.”