It was rumoured last month that Fumito Ueda, lead designer of Ico, Shadow of the Colossus and as yet unreleased The Last Guardian was leaving Sony. That speculation can be put to rest, as Sony’s confirmed the venerated designer’s departure.
In a statement issued to Gamasutra, Sony confirmed that Ueda will be finishing the highly anticipated Last Guardian not as an employee – but as a contract worker. According to the statement Ueda is "committed to completing" the project. This a big loss for Sony – but I think it might be a bigger loss for Ueda. Since joining Sony in 1997, he’s put out just two games – Ico and Shadow of the Colossus – and while they might be two of the most celebrated classics in Sony’s portfolio, I just don’t see any other studio giving him that much leeway.
Confirmed news of Ueda’s departure follow that of The Last Guardian producer Yoshifusa Hayama announcing he’s left Sony to work for social game developer Bossa Studios. With top management no longer invested in the project, I fear The Last Guardian might be in a spot of bother.
The Last Guardian was first shown at E3 in 2009 and was due for a holiday release this year, but has been delayed and pegged with an unknown release date.
Last Updated: December 13, 2011