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Sony Tight-Lipped On  Ico  Creator's Rumored Resignation
Sony Tight-Lipped On Ico Creator's Rumored Resignation
November 30, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

If Ico creator Fumito Ueda is still a Sony employee, the company's not saying.

Rumors began circulating Wednesday morning after a story at UK-based Eurogamer claimed that the Team Ico studio head has resigned, and was continuing to work on the oft-delayed The Last Guardian on a contract basis.

According to that report, Ueda's departure is one of the factors in that game's continual delay.

Sony has not responded either way to Gamasutra's requests for clarification at press time, nor has Ueda himself.

Ueda's Sony-owned studio Team Ico has not shipped a game in over six years. The Last Guardian is slated to be the third title, following 2001's Ico and 2005's Shadow of the Colossus, both for the PlayStation 2.

At this year's Tokyo Game Show, Sony Worldwide Studios' Shuhei Yoshida told reporters that progress on The Last Guardian was "not as fast as we'd been hoping for."

The game was not present in any way at the show. Indeed, the last time Gamasutra laid eyes on The Last Guardian was at a presentation at TGS 2010, well over a year ago.

This story will be updated if any new information is learned.

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Samuel Batista
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Interesting development... this would certainly go a long ways to explain why there's been such a drought of information regarding The Last Guardian for the last few years. I hope it's just speculation since Ueda is basically the soul of Team Ico. I eagerly await more information on the subject.

tony oakden
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"The Last Guardian" is the only reason I was thinking of buying a PS3, that and the fact I need a blue ray player. Looks like I'll be getting a $99.00 blue ray player this XMas...

Joe McGinn
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Same here. If it does not come out I will have no reason at all to get PS3.

Carlo Delallana
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Would love to see a Fumito Ueda/Jenova Chen collaboration. For some reason I get the same vibe from both these creators when I play their games.

Mike Griffin
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Or a Fumito Ueda/Tale of Tales collaboration. Think "The Path" but on a slightly grander scale.

Brandon Sheffield
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two strong-minded people with similar skillsets working together often results in a canceled project, in my experience!

Alan Rimkeit
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This is bad for Sony but good for gamers in general. Maybe now he can make PC versions of his game and sell via STEAM? Just a thought. More freedom for creators of games is always a good thing as far as I can tell.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

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He probably said he needed more time. They probably said no. He probably said then I'll walk.

Ben Rice
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6 years without a title that's close to being finished though?

I think i'd have to draw a line somewhere too.

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@Ben I would as well. And when I say "more time" I mean "more money" too. The title may not have been announce around the time Metal Gear Solid 4 or GT3 was, but it has probably been in development for about as long. I think when we think back about the console cycles we are seeing that we are getting less that we had when the PS2 was out. By this time PS2 has something like 2-3 GT, 2 MGS, 2-3 Armored Cores, 2-3 Final Fantasies, and that just the tip of the iceberg. Now we are getting rumors of a PS4 (and I'm not even going to talk about why that should not be circulated in the press even as a rumor at this state.) I'm just saying it has to come a time when they say its done and it needs to be released and playable. I mean they got other things to do you know than to continually talk about a game that has been announced three E3's ago. Remember the failure of the Perfect Dark Prequel, announced for the Xbox to only come out for the Xbox360 and not be half as good as its N64 counterpart.

Samuel Batista
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I personally think that Ueda is a special breed of game designer that doesn't really work well with the current development cycles. @A W: You make references to GT, and Metal Gear, and while those franchises spew out 2, 3 games in a span of 7 or 8 years Ueda can only put out 1 and half. This is a consequence of the fact that every game that he's made so far isn't a linear continuation, or a natural progression of the previous, each game is its own unique collection of design expressions and massive technological effort. Working on one particular IP and franchise that spans several titles allows you to build a scafolding of technology and designs that a studio can fall back on and improve instead of starting from scratch and reinventing the "gameplay wheel" every time.

Ueda's never seemed interested in doing that. His games reflect a desire to create something unique, something different and interesting every time. The problem with doing that every time you start a game is that you really need to take your time to get it right. You need to make mistakes, iterate on the gameplay and tech till you have something fun. Doing that on the PS2 with a small team took a long time and was very difficult I'm sure, but trying to do the same on the PS3, even with a bigger team, is much more costly and challenging.

I have no doubt the Last Guardian will make it to market in some form or another, Sony undoubtedly put out the Team Ico Collection to try to damper some of the development costs of The Last Guardian, but without Ueda, and even with Ueda... the future of that studio and what they represent creatively is in jeopardy.

Ramon Carroll
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Wait wait! Don't tell me....he's going into social games development right? Seems like that's the current trend these days?