In 2002, development began for a game known only by its project name, Nico, which was revealed to be a portmanteau of “Next Ico.” The game, originally believed to be an intended sequel to Team Ico and SIE Japan Studios’ successful action-adventure game, Ico, eventually morphed into its own property. In October 2005, the North American and Japanese regions saw the release of Shadow of the Colossus, which, while far from mechanically perfect, earned praise across the board and garnered a cult following.
Shadow of the Colossus was able to stand on its own from Ico, though lead designer Fumito Ueda has been quoted stating he felt Team Ico’s latest was a prequel, despite not being the official position of the studio. Regardless of intent, Shadow of the Colossus’ tale of Wander and his quest to rescue a girl named Mono by defeating 16 colossi became a hit that warranted a PlayStation 3 remaster and, released exclusively on the PlayStation 4 on Feb. 6, 2018, a high-definition remake.
With the spotlight once again falling on Shadow of the Colossus, questions about a possible sequel are sure to be on the rise. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus creator Fumito Ueda only further amplified that chatter when, at the turn of the new year, the website to his development company, genDESIGN, was updated with an image teaser to the studio’s next project.
Despite the closing of Team Ico and the mixed reception and rocky release of Ueda’s most recent project, The Last Guardian, genDESIGN is moving ahead with a project that many speculate could be a follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus. The image revealed in January 2018 shared striking design similarities to Shadow and featured a lone female, who could be Mono. Another image that surfaced later in January depicts the girl in white and, at the bottom edge of the screen, what appears to be a different angle of the beast in the prior image.
Shadow of the Colossus ends on a strange note when Mono awakens from her catatonic state to find Wander gone and a lone horned baby boy left behind. Many have contemplated and discussed the meaning behind the game’s conclusion, but there can be an argument made for the potential of a sequel. More speculative gamers believed the boy to be a reincarnation of Wander, which, with a properly placed time jump, could lead to another adventure for the reborn hero. A follow-up could even follow Mono who may have to protect the newborn from outside evils.
Looking back at the second promotional image released by genDESIGN, it’s possible that the fur and rough skin could belong to a colossus. The lore of Shadow of the Colossus could easily be expanded upon, so there could certainly be more than the 16 prodigious guardians that Wander killed.
Though the status of a sequel is still only a matter of presumption, genDESIGN will undoubtedly clarify the identity of its latest project and the possibility of a follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus in the coming months, or, at the very least, at the 2018 Entertainment Electronics Expo in June.