Eurogamer is saying that multiple, trusted sources within the Japanese gaming industry have told them that Fumito Ueda, the director of PS2 cult-classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, as well as the upcoming, oft-delayed PS3 adventure game The Last Guardian, has quit Sony and will go on to pursue his own “personal projects.”
According to the rumors, Ueda will stay on stay on The Last Guardian’s development team as a temporary freelancer until the game is complete, which should be a relief for fans of the highly anticipated game, which was originally scheduled to come out during this holiday season but was delayed into 2012. The rumors also suggest that the game’s frequent delays and troubled development cycle may be a result of Ueda’s departure.
If the rumors are true, it’ll be interesting to see where Ueda ends up; it’s no secret that the Japanese gaming industry is going through a rough patch this generation, and a proven director and innovator like Ueda probably wouldn’t have a hard time finding a job at any major gaming studio.
With that said, I hope this internal strife within Sony doesn’t affect the quality of The Last Guardian itself; I absolutely loved Ico and enjoyed Shadow of the Colossus for the most part, so my expectations for The Last Guardian are understandably high. At the very least, the games protracted development schedule gives any of you who missed out on Ico and Shadow of the Colossus originally to go back and play through them now. (P.S. – Ico is better than SotC. Yeah, I said it.)