You may be looking at the very first image of Fumito Ueda’s next game, which his new studio, Gen Design, posted on its official website as part of a Happy New Year message. Ueda previously headed up Sony’s Team Ico, which created Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian.
The image focuses on a girl in all white sitting on a stone pedestal with a beam of light shining down on her, and she’s joined by something much bigger trailing off the screen. Down a few steps from the girl is what appears to be a giant monster’s fist attached to a hairy, chunky creature. The fist alone is larger than the girl, indicating she’ll be dwarfed by the being to which it’s attached.
A user on the gaming forum Resetra found that the image is named “Beauty and the Beast 2018” in the webpage’s source code.
Speaking about his next project in June 2017, Ueda said he’d like to avoid making something that was overly similar to his previous games. Today’s image would seem to clash with that desire, seeing as all three Team Ico games featured an enormous beast — or 16 enormous beasts, in Shadow of the Colossus’ case — and Ico co-starred a young girl dressed in white.
“The last three games we created I didn’t intend to be very similar to each other,” explained Ueda. “When I start to create a game, always I think we will create something different. But the result was that in the three games there are some similarities. There’s a moment when one game links with another, but I didn’t put it in at the start, it happens in the process.
“So now, I think I’m creating something very different, but the end result? I can’t say.”
While the imagery of a young girl and a giant beast could only represent be surface-deep similarities to the Team Ico games, it’s Ueda has once again fallen into his old habits now that Gen Design has moved further into development of its debut title. Then again, Ueda also mentioned last June that modern game design tools would allow him to quickly create “a prototype,” maybe this is nothing more than that.
In any case, Ueda expressed a desire to finish the game quickly. This would be a stark change from The Last Guardian, which was repeatedly delayed, eventually releasing more than nine years after its announcement and 11 years after Team Ico’s previous game, Shadow of the Colossus.