GenDESIGN, a studio made up of Team ICO veterans responsible for ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian, is teasing its next game in a holiday card image on its site. GenDESIGN’s main page features the stylized 2021 image above, with four games making up each number. The first three are 2001’s ICO, 2005’s Shadow of the Colossus, and 2016’s The Last Guardian. The final image is an as-of-yet unknown project, but it confirms that the studio is still hard at work on what’s to come. Like the other images, it features the back of who is presumably the main character, though no other details are known.
The Fumito Ueda led studio is the phoenix that rose from the ashes of Team ICO, the original Sony Japan Studio developer responsible for the first two projects. After leaving Sony in 2011, Ueda then formed the independent studio GenDESIGN, made of of Team ICO veterans, to finish The Last Guardian for Sony.
In 2018, GenDESIGN began teasing a new project, also as part of a new year’s greeting. That art was of a girl near an altar, with a big nebulous figure nearby. In 2019, Ueda revealed that he was looking for a publisher for GenDESIGN’s next game, and in 2020, Epic Games announced it would be stepping up to the task. It’s unclear what this means in terms of release for the title, and whether it will be a PlayStation exclusive project or release on multiple platforms. Epic does have a close relationship with Sony right now too, but GenDESIGN’s independence could see the Team ICO veterans finally release their games on more than just the PlayStation platforms.
Currently, very little is known about what this next game might entail. We know that it’s a large-scale game on par with its previous efforts that is not a sequel or a prequel (though Team ICO/GenDESIGN games like to tie little elements together that make fans wonder if they are actually connected). We so far have two images teasing this next game, but nothing else to go on. The studio also tweeted that it is looking for additional project development staff in 2021 as work on the new game ramps up. The job listings, however, don’t offer many hints of what’s to come.
For now, we’ll just have to wait. Ueda and his team know better than anyone that the announcement has to come when the time is right, and no earlier.