A new trademark status update discovered by PlayStation LifeStyle calls The Last Guardian trademark both "dead" and "abandoned." The status of the trademark was updated on August 6th, possibly indicating that either the game is indeed dead or will undergo a name change.
That, or Sony forgot to renew the trademark and missed some sort of deadline. I know I do it all the time with domain names I don't use. And that's kinda the same thing, right? Close enough.
We're not sure what it means, but fear for the worst. The Last Guardian has hit more than a few bumps in the road, despite various Sony executives saying the game is still in development, but in the hands of the very capable Sony Santa Monica Studio.
The PS3 exclusive was originally announced at E3 2009 and has since been MIA from a number of industry events. Worse yet, many key staff members on the development team, including Team ICO head honcho, Fumito Ueda, have departed Sony, leaving the project in disarray.
Sony declined to comment on "rumor or speculation". We'll keep you posted on any further developments.