Fumito Ueda, the creator of Shadow of the Colossus, and his young studio genDESIGN have a gift for his fans to celebrate the new year. The studio’s official website updated on New Year’s Day in Japan to feature an image that has already led to plenty of speculation. Visitors to the website will be able to scroll down through an image showing a column of light and several birds in flight. But it’s the area near the bottom of the image, which features a woman and a monster, that’s caused such a stir.
In the image, a young woman is rising from where she lies upon a dais. She’s wrapped in light, with a column of light rising from her like she’s a spotlight. All around her is darkness, broken by the light she spreads. In front of her is a small set of stairs and further rests something monstrous. A bulky torso with thick leathery skin and a patch of fur rests on the ground, with a giant five-fingered hand implying a humanoid nature.
It’s impossible to discern the context of the image from what’s been provided, but the imagery is undeniably alluring. Is the woman threatened by the monster? Is the monster an ally, akin to The Last Guardian‘s Trico? But there are two much more pressing questions: is this image a teaser for genDESIGN’s next game; and, perhaps more pressing, is this image directly related to any of Fumito Ueda’s past games?
Is this a teaser image for genDESIGN’s next game? It certainly seems so. genDESIGN’s last project, The Last Guardian, wrapped up over a year ago and the team is clearly working on something new. The teaser image may also be related to some concept art shown by genDESIGN last year, which shows a bulky bipedal monster with a hog’s head. The teasers so far seem too closely related to be coincidence, but until genDESIGN officially announces its new project it’s healthy to remain skeptical.
Whether or not the new teaser is related to Fumito Ueda’s past work belongs solely within the realm of speculation. Ueda’s past games are iconic and the launch of the reworked Shadow of the Colossus in 2018 shows just how much fans want to return to those properties. But the likelihood of Ueda working on a direct sequel or canon side-story is slim to none.
“Happy New Year 2018! May this be a happy and fruitful year,” is genDESIGN’s message accompanying the new teaser image. The studio may or may not have more information to share in 2018, but it’s already clear that fans will be excitedly waiting for when they do.