Confirmed: Fumito Ueda Has Left Sony

Fumito Ueda will remain at Sony as a contractor until his work on the upcoming The Last Guardian is completed, but Sony has officially confirmed to Gamasutra that Ueda has left the company's employ.

Sony was quick to claim, however, that these circumstances will have no affect on The Last Guardian's development and claimed that Ueda was fully committed to completing the project.

We're inclined to believe Sony on this occasion. In interviews Ueda has always appeared fully committed to his titles, considering the huge investment he puts into each game he develops. Many of his projects have been delayed in order to tweak tiny details and get everything in the game working as he originally envisioned.

In short: we're not worried. It's impossible to say with any certainty, but this most likely won't affect the development or quality of The Last Guardian. We hope.

Confirmed: Ico Creator Fumito Ueda Leaves Sony [Gamasutra]


    Forced out so that Sony could get the game out the door because he refused to compromise his artistic vision for a timely release?

      Yeah this was kind of my pessimistic 'I hope thats not why' response

      Forced out...yet still working on it? Doubt it.

    He probably quit and came back as a contractor to demand more $$ - it happens!

    Interesting. Its definitely a loss for Sony, but hopefully the game will still be good.

    It'll be interesting to see where he ends up. There aren't too many publishers out there that would indulge him in the way Sony have in terms of allocating signifant resources to developing niche games that, while extremely critically successful, haven't seen corresponding commercial success.

    So most likely he's either going to go small and make iPhone games or he's going to start up his own dev company to make multiplatform games. Expanding development to XBox (and maybe even PC) would enable him to broaden his potential market, hopefully enabling him to keep making his style of games with reasonable budgets. Right now he has to count on a single console for all his sales, and when you've spent 5 years making a game your chances of breaking even on a single console are pretty slim, unless it's called Gran Turismo or Halo.

      Personally I hope Microsoft does hire him... they're weak in Japan, and whilst they've got plenty of money, this would be a good means of building some brands.

        I doubt Microsoft would hire him... they have very little internal development, and don't seem to have much interest in increasing it - they seem to prefer to rely on 3rd parties for most of their exclusives other than Halo, Forza, Fable and endless amounts of Kinect filler. The last thing we'd want to see is Fumito Ueda reduced to making Kinect games.

        While MS do have plenty of money, they tend not to risk much of it on making niche games. Sony seem to have a much greater appetite for risk when it comes to software development than MS - just count the number of new firstparty IP they've each developed this generation.

        And if his games aren't profitable when they're exclusively on PlayStation, I'd expect them to be even LESS profitable on XBox since they don't seem to be a great fit for that demographic either. The only way he's going to sell more games would be to go multiplatform, not to switch from exclusively developing for one platform to exclusively developing for another.

        I guess there is the possibility of Nintendo, I could see him being a better fit there than Microsoft. Strong internal development, very strong in Japan and could probably use an injection of fresh blood and fresh ideas if they're serious about attracting the core gamers to Wii U.

          I don't disagree, but I think with a new console coming Microsoft are going to start reskilling.
          They've upped Rare, bought Twisted Pixel, are apparently making eyes at Double Fine, and have made no secret about wanting Japan.

          They must know they need to broaden their market...

            I don't disagree that they want/need to broaden their market in Japan, but what I'm getting at is that his games haven't really sold in huge numbers, so they wouldn't necessarily be broadening their market much, if at all, by hiring him to work exclusively for them.

    Hope he works with Nintendo & comes up with some crazy Wii U title

      Yeesssssss. This times a thousand.

    He probably got burnt out. There is high expectations for this game, and after Ico and SOTC, the standards are raised to astronomical heights. Ueda probably got so sick that he had to quit.

    Not suprised. It was always going to be a trilogy of games (trico) the man will want his swan song be the high water mark of gaming

    This is it. The end of Team ICO. It's sad to see it happen. At least there'll be one more game, but it will be tough to finish, knowing that it's the end of the line.

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