The Last Guardian, Team Ico's highly-anticipated follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus, has been delayed until December. President of Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida has explained that the decision was reached to give the developers more time to iron out bugs.

The game will be released on 6 December in North America, 7 December across Europe and 9 December in the UK and Ireland, Yoshida confirmed in a blog post.

"Fumito Ueda, gen DESIGN and JAPAN Studio have a wonderful vision for The Last Guardian's touching, emotional journey of friendship and trust, and we want to deliver the most polished experience possible for our fans who have supported us for so long," reads the post.

"A delay is a difficult decision, particularly with this game, but we have encountered more bugs than anticipated while in the final stages of development.

"To ensure that The Last Guardian delivers on the experience that the game's creators have envisioned, we need to take the extra time to work on those issues."

The Last Guardian's lengthy and troubled development was riddled with delays since it was first announced in 2009. After a lengthy absence from the public eye, it reappeared at Sony's E3 press conference in 2015. One year later it was given its October release date.

In the grand scheme of things an additional six-week delay isn't the end of the world, but fans will understandably be disappointed.

It is the follow-up to 2005 classic Shadow of the Colossus, and the third game in a thematic trilogy that began with Ico in 2001. The new game follows a young boy and his enormous, griffon-like companion as they adventure through a ruinous fantasy world.

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