Shadow of the Colossus director leaves Sony - Report

Japanese development sources cited with news that Fumito Ueda is gone from Team Ico, finishing up The Last Guardian on freelance basis.

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The Last Guardian may also be the last Fumito Ueda-led game from Sony. Eurogamer is citing "Japanese video game development sources" as providing word that Ueda has left not just the Team Ico development team, but Sony entirely.

Fumito Ueda will reportedly finish The Last Guardian on a freelance basis.

According to the report, Ueda will finish up work on Team Ico's long-awaited The Last Guardian as a freelancer, and afterward pursue personal projects.

Ueda is best known for his work with Team Ico on the PlayStation 2 action games Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Released in September of 2001, Ico cast players as a horned youth who had to escort a princess safely from her prison. Four years later, Team Ico's Shadow of the Colossus followed a young warrior who hunts down and destroys 16 massive beasts in order to save a fallen maiden. The two games were bundled and rereleased in a high-definition, 3D-compatible PlayStation 3 bundle earlier this year.

Although The Last Guardian was shown in trailer form for the first time at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show, Ueda had been working on Team Ico's PlayStation 3 debut since 2005. At the time, he said that the three years it took to make Shadow of the Colossus was too long and that he hoped to release his next game in less time. At the 2010 Tokyo Game Show, a late 2011 release window was attached to The Last Guardian, but that was retracted the following spring.

[UPDATE]: A Sony representative told GameSpot the company does not comment on rumor or speculation.

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