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.

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 At the 2010 Tokyo Game Show, a late 2011 release window was attached to The Last Guardian, but that was retracted the following spring.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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121 comments
istuffedsunny
istuffedsunny

@ahpuck Yes, the fact that Naughty Dog shat out a Tomb Raider clone and rehashed it twice in less time than it takes Team Ico to create an ORIGINAL idea does indeed make them better developers, doesn't it? It's that kind of mass market mentality that's already turned gaming into the new Hollywood.

ahpuck
ahpuck

Lets see here, in the span of time Ueda has working on 1 game, the folks at Naughty Dog have delivered 3 great Uncharted games. Guerrilla has already gone through 2 Killzones. I bet Sony fired his behind, they are just being too nice to tell us the truth.

praack
praack

funds are drying up, yen is very high, reconstruction costs are impacting the economy, so pressure to move out of a now 5 year dev cycle is not unreasonable. interesting that ueada is still on the team- almost like he stepped down to free up the salary.

chinchillables2
chinchillables2

That's not a dragon... it's a friggin dog with bird feathers.

aaronm90
aaronm90

@ buying1999...I suggest you read Fumito Ueda's official response before engaging in rampant fanboyism. Thanks!

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

The Last Guardian needs to come out! It looks amazing!

buying1999
buying1999

Wow the rats are fleeing the sinking ship!! I just read that he has completely left the project. The PS3 hardware was just too limited. Well the industry as a whole already know that LOL. Remind me...when was the year of the ps3????? ROFL "The Xbox 360 is the BEST console EVER made." --John Carmack

immortal224
immortal224

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

aaronm90
aaronm90

After thinking about it, it's quite possible that Sony is really pressuring him to get this game out and he's not down with that. Due to constant set backs, Francis Ford Coppola almost was never able to finish Apocalypse Now! because the people with the money who were funding it were becoming doubtful because of the additional costs, repeated delays, etc. I bet Coppola wanted to punch them all and tell them that they had no idea what he was working on, and what it would become (though he had his doubts too...). Could be that Ueda is is fed up with that pressure too given that he's been working on The Last Guardian since 2005. Purely speculation, though. Anyone with a dollar to earn (or lose) is completely blind to the sublime, and that's what cripples innovation.

aaronm90
aaronm90

Though Team ICO deserves a tremendous amount of credit too, he really represents one of the most awe-inspiring testaments to innovations in gaming. My initial reaction was that this was just tragic, and I'm really having trouble seeing it going any other way. If he announces that he's hard at work on a facebook game, I'll just cry. However, it could end up being a wonderful thing; although I respect Sony's approach to publishing and the incredible products that have resulted from it, any relationship between publisher and developer has its inherent drawbacks. He could be seeking more creative freedom now that he has enough of his own resources. It's not like he can essentially go rogue with Sony like Kojima's successes allowed him to do with Konami....and as others said, I really, really hope this doesn't prove to be detrimental to The Last Guardian in any way.

GodGundamNT1
GodGundamNT1

Brought to you by Microsoft, guess who hired him... Microsoft has a heavy and long history of money hatting Sony employees and creative/directors in videogames for PlayStation.

King_Jeremy_77
King_Jeremy_77

As long as it doesn't interfere with how awesome The Last Guardian is going to be.

Mawy_Golomb
Mawy_Golomb

No surprise, seeing how the game's been in development for too long. Now that the worst may have come to pass, it might be a failure like DNF. Let's hope not, but this news is certainly not the most pleasant for one to hear.

angelbless
angelbless

Im afraid we might have to wait for LG a little longer now :(

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

Team ICO is a very interesting studio, their games are simple in concept and yet remain memorable and cult-classics. I am saddened by this but I wish him the best of luck from me and hopefully everyone from Gamespot :)

shinspikes
shinspikes

If this is true, then I will be very sad. But, sony needs a wake up call on how much they suck. Wish I could go with him, but I invested too much money on this pos console.

Gregst3wart
Gregst3wart

hmm....you could....COME TO THE XBOX! and become part of something bigger! :)

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I could understand how spending over ten years on only three projects might burn a fella out. I only hope he can keep the fire going long enough to finish The Last Guardian to the standard it deserves. It's a shame. In my opinion Ueda is one of THE greatest visionaries the industry will ever know. This is a blow to Sony, but if he's leaving the industry then it's a blow to everyone. Whatever he decides to do, so long as he's true to himself can we really expect anything different? All the best to him.

7C7R7N7
7C7R7N7

It is inexplicable such beauty of Team ICO games.

PouyaDH
PouyaDH

ok, but can we get a date on this game along side of these infos ??? I'm gonna get old over this lol

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

Dang, dude! That must be a blow to the team, and to Sony. All I can hope is that The Last Guardian is worth all this development time. Then again, it's pointless asking, considering Team ICO has a history of art.

jchristenberry
jchristenberry

I would do no different in his shoes. Spending that much time working on the same dang project can really wear you out. I say more power to you buddy, best of luck to you and I look forward to your return (with any company other than Nintendo)

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

From the sounds of things, it doesn't seem like this information has been 100% confirmed, and may be partly speculation. At least, that's what I picked up from the tone of the article and the last update line "A Sony representative told GameSpot the company does not comment on rumor or speculation." So, I think it is best not to comment about what Ueda is doing in a substantial way until the facts are confirmed. What would be nice is if they had a news article that had a 100% confirmed release date for The Last Guardian. It should say "It will be released.... yesterday!!!!" @__@

Danituga
Danituga

Cmon, don't stop now, the last guardian seemed to be awesome!

shadow655
shadow655

Sony is the best!!! They went through hell and they still on top I highly doubt this is going to do anything to slow down there unstoppable momentum!!!

gregdn22
gregdn22

Sounds like he is a little frustrated with the amount of time it is taking to produce the game, must be great though. He is probably just ready for a break.

glhx1rush
glhx1rush

Ueda must have had his reasons. Time to move on. I can't wait to see his next creation. Not being locked down to any one system should make things very interesting in the future. The gaming world is at this man's feet.....

bostadskontrakt
bostadskontrakt

As long as The Last Guardian gets released and has not suffered from this. Hopefully not.

AluminumAndroid
AluminumAndroid

Oh man, I hope it doesn't mean Fumito Uedae isn't satisfied with the product. I've been looking forward to this game for 2 years now.

Hig1134
Hig1134

@teufelsohn Well, go back and play Halo 1 for the 22nd time on your brokebox and STFU!!!!

Uesugi-dono
Uesugi-dono

Ueda-sama; thank you for wonderful games. It's sad to see you leave the team with which you made such magic. Breaking up a good team doesn't usually mean you get more good stuff; here's hoping you can continues to realize your vision.

ryzrocks
ryzrocks

One great man goes and another one comes...that's how the world works and that's how the world grow and continue to innovate....This man made a lot of contributions to gaming and teaching new developers that a story in a game is just as important as graphics and gameplay... and I know for a fact that story wise, this game will be awesome and the graphics is pretty cool too :D

sangdolee
sangdolee

Can't wait for this game ^^ i always love shadow of colosus ^^ this game gonna be amazing~

gstealer
gstealer

@ teufelsohn It seems like Sony owns the rights to Team ICO and The Last Guardian, not Ueda, so, I wouldn't expect it to come out for the PC or Xbox. Still, It's all speculation for the time being, and if it is to be true, I have mixed feelings. 1° - It saddens me, because Sony will no longer have a great mind for games. 2° - It makes me anxious because he will work on his own projects, I would definitely keep an eye for that.

teufelsohn
teufelsohn

He left Sony... GOOD! Now would you please release these (probably) awesome game in XBOX 360 or PC! I don´t want to buy a PS3.

manciuxl
manciuxl

lol i almost forgot about the last guardian :?

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

To be honest I say fair play to the man, as long as The Last Guardian still gets the attention it no doubt deserves it will be a brilliant game. And if the guy wants to pursue his own interests why not? It'll be good to see what games he does after this, it could either be the best or worst thing he could have done to his career. We shall see!

Black_Adder_
Black_Adder_

I know that people will disagree, but personally I found Shadow of the Colossus one of the most boring games ever. When it came out I and all my friends had it, but after 2-3 days I had it traded away...just had to listen to my friends flaming about how don't I understand the awesomity of this game...but it was just a game where I had to ride the horse to one hairy big fella, climb up to his back or neck and kill him. Impossible to die and nothing else to do but climbing big guys and killing them. So I guess SONY just started to ask when the game will be finished more frequently and the dude got mad - not sure if leaving is the best solution in this case though, everyone have deadlines for their work.

Supabul
Supabul

No surprise he left Sony it shouldn't be taken that long to make the Last Guardian, Sony aren't given the man the resource's he needs this game should off been finished two years ago, the studio is under staffed and they have to work crazy hrs It was the same with GT5

gazza_gamerNZ
gazza_gamerNZ

Games like these take time, both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus took around 4 years to make. I still have faith in the guy but I hope the pressure isn't getting to him.

lupodirosso
lupodirosso

so long as he's not dead, I'm okay with it now please, continue developing the last guardian.... =D

Pawfalcon
Pawfalcon

As long as he still makes kick-a** games (preferably for the PS3 as well) and finishes Guardian I don't mind. [UPDATE]: That's not much of an update.

Sniper-Gamer
Sniper-Gamer

I'm glad to hear he's at least finishing TLG. If he left the project entirely, this game would never see the light of day.

theoasis77
theoasis77

The only game remaining on ps3 I carer about... Let him at least finish the job. Without him, it's gona be crap.

Sameerology
Sameerology

The lighting effects must be looking unlike any other...

bugbag
bugbag

The Last Guardian is my most anticipated game, and I am waiting patiently for his newest release. This is a bit shocking though...