Not too long ago, there was a terrible rumor floating out around that Fumito Ueda, the genius behind Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and the upcoming The Last Guardian would be leaving Team ICO. Well, those horrible, nightmare-inducing rumors are true, as Sony confirmed that Ueda is indeed leaving.
He, at least, will continue working on bringing The Last Guardian to fruition on a contract basis.
Losing Ueda is certainly a blow for Sony; there’s no other way to put it. He joined the company back in 1997, and though he has only released two games since then — a span of fourteen years — they have been critically acclaimed by almost every outlet that has played them, and have gone down in gaming history as some of the best games ever made.
Specific reasons weren’t cited in the confirmation article over on Gamasutra, but the aforementioned rumors of his departure claimed he was leaving over struggling with the length of his games’ development cycles, which the numerous delays of The Last Guardian and the two game releases over the span of fourteen years would certainly corroborate. What is odd about that, however, is that in theory, Ueda himself is largely in control of the development cycle — it’s his team, after all — so one would wonder why he’d leave due to development length if the development length was his fault.
Whatever the reason, hopefully Ueda doesn’t leave the scene entirely, and if he doesn’t work on a multiplatform or freelance basis, he goes to a company that gives him full control and allows him to do whatever he wants. Seeing as how the original PS2 Shadow of the Colossus was hampered by hardware limitations, hopefully wherever Ueda ends up makes games for consoles that can handle his vision.