The creative force behind ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, Fumito Ueda, will be leaving Sony when his work on the upcoming The Last Guardian is finished.
Eurogamer was the first to spread unofficial word that Fumito Ueda, director of two cult-masterpieces with ICO & Shadow of the Colossus for the PlayStation 2, had abruptly quit Sony during the development of The Last Guardian; the PlayStation 3 exclusive which starred a boy and his bird/dog/monster trying to escape the decaying ruins of a large castle.
From every screen-capture and trailer that had been shown thus far of The Last Guardian — and that wasn’t much to begin with, mind you — the title seemed to have all the whimsical ingredients to be something special. Which is why when this news was suddenly ousted, it gave a good chunk of gaming enthusiasts, myself included, a bad tummy ache.
Oddly though, now that Sony has totally confirmed, through Gamasutra, Ueda’s departure from the company, things don’t look so gloomy-doomy when it comes to finally seeing a finished The Last Guardian. I mean — it really sucks that we haven’t seen more of the game, or what kind of developmental state it’s in, but Sony’s statements that Ueda is still fully “committed to completing” the project, at least calms fears of the game’s cancellation.
If anything, this at least means we’ll get to see The Last Guardian at some point in time, with creative vision untouched, hopefully before the end of 2012. Fingers crossed tightly.
Now as for Fumito Ueda himself, it will be highly intriguing to see what the director will do next. He’s been at Sony for around 14 years, and despite his small list of accomplishments (unbelievably, only two games at this point), Ueda is regarded as a luminary in his field, with 2001’s ICO being cited as a great influence among his game-designing peers.
Losing Ueda is bad news for Sony indeed (though I’m sure in the long run they’ll be fine), but big picture, the gaming world at large now gets a chance to experience what make his games amazing. His sense for building unique settings and impactful moments through his creations is top-notch, and certainly, with The Last Guardian and whatever he does next, those too will continue to carry such fantastic trademarks.