On Thursday, major U.S. video game retailer GameStop mistakenly told its customers that Sony's The Last Guardian was cancelled, a move that could be costly for both companies.
Both companies have since clarified to Gamasutra that the game is, in fact, still in production, but if a significant amount of those customers do not opt back in to purchase the game, Sony could lose a significant amount of revenue on the already troubled title.
Customers who had pre-ordered The Last Guardian through the retailer received an automated call on Thursday letting them know that the game was cancelled, and that that their preorder purchase would be refunded. The game was also removed from the company's database, both on its website and, according to the locations we called, in stores.
Speaking to Gamasutra, a company representative says that the game was removed from its system due to it lacking a firm release date, not because the company believes the game to be cancelled. Apparently its automated system defaults to telling pre-order customers that a game is cancelled once this happens.
"The Last Guardian has not been cancelled by Sony as we incorrectly stated in an automated call to reservation customers. Because the game did not have a specific release date, GameStop made the decision to remove the game from our system," GameStop's Larin Nixon told Gamasutra. "The Last Guardian will be reinstated for pre-order when a firm launch date is known."
Nixon did not clarify when asked if the company might try to wrangle these customers back in through any kind of outreach. GameStop also declined to say how many pre-orders were affected by this communication error.
Additionally, Sony has not responded to requests for both pre-order numbers or a reaction to the news.
Sony's oft-delayed The Last Guardian has seen some additional shakeups over the last few weeks. Earlier this month, the game's producer, Yoshifusa Hayama, left to join social games company Bossa Studios.
Even more notably, Sony recently confirmed that the mastermind behind the project, Fumito Ueda, is no longer an employee at the company, but is still set to finish The Last Guardian under contract.
Sony has repeatedly told Gamasutra that the game is still in production and will eventually ship, though the company is not ready to establish a release window for the title.