Developer Ico shares original concept video for 20th anniversary

To celebrate the 20th release of the immensely influential Ico, developer genDESIGN releases its original development pitch video.

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With the growing importance of the relationship between developers and fans, it’s become more common for fans to get a glimpse of the development curtain of some of the biggest games in the entire industry. This is made possible in no small part by conservationists and documentary efforts like Noclip and projects like Raise Kratos, but sometimes it comes from the developer himself. To celebrate our 20th anniversary IconJapanese release by developer genDESIGN (formerly Team Ico) revealed Icon sales promotion video.


Icon is an action-adventure game first released on PlayStation 2 in 2001, developed by Japan Studio and Team Ico. The game follows a horned boy named Ico and a skinny older girl named Yorda as they try to escape a mysterious castle. Its designer/director, Fumito Ueda, will continue to build on the “design by subtraction” game development philosophy, which will inspire his own future games such as Shadow of the Colossus and Last Guardianand other works like game company’s Journeys and Playdead’s Inside.

RELATED: Why Ico Still Can’t Forget, 20 Years Later

Japanese gaming magazine Weekly Famitsu conducted a special session entirely dedicated to the legacy of Icon, in which it interviewed several influential creators inspired by the game consists of Dark souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki, NieR creator Yoko Taro, and even film director Guillermo del Toro and Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood.

As a way to celebrate the event, Ueda’s current studio, genDESIGN, released a pitch video that was originally sent to Sony Computer Entertainment in 1998, when Icon Originally envisioned as a PS1 title. When Icon would go through a tumultuous period of development, eventually moving to the PlayStation 2 in 1999, this video shows how the original vision for the game didn’t go to waste during its lengthy development cycle. Some of the locations featured in the concept video even appear in the main game.

The biggest difference between this concept video and the final game, of course, is the huge visual improvements it will see. during the transition to PlayStation 2, and designs by Yorda, who originally wore a more modern blouse and shorts combo. The video is set to the song “Summer Holiday 1999” by Scottish indie pop artist Momus, which the team used to set the tune for the game. Finally, the beloved soundtrack will be composed by Michiru Oshima.

While the release of this video was a huge surprise for fans of genDESIGN’s games, the video description mentions another long-discussed concept video set to “Scarborough Fair” by Simon & Garfunkel and mentions that this video was made during the game’s porting to PlayStation 2. Hopefully genDESIGN will release this second concept video in the near future, as it’s most likely in the making. busy with its next title, a cross-platform project to be published by Epic Games.

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