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Rumor: Ueda Leaves Sony To Finish The Last Guardian

Well, this is no good.

According to Eurogamer, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus creator and visionary Fumito Ueda has left Sony.

Various Japanese sources are saying Ueda is now working on his current project, The Last Guardian in a "freelance capacity," which means he no longer has Sony's resources (and that sounds troublesome). We've often worried about the game in question because the development process has been marred by delays, and now it seems we know part of the reason. The good news is that Ueda fully intends to complete The Last Guardian and then attempt "personal projects," whatever those might be.

Sony has expressed some disappointment in Team ICO's progress on The Last Guardian and SCE Studios president Shuhei Yoshida was quoted as saying "the team has been under big pressure." As of now, Ueda's latest creation is supposed to release some time next year, but that's very much up in the air.

If Ueda really has left, it's anyone's guess at to when the game will arrive. Heck, maybe it'll show up faster. No more red tape, ya know?

Related Game(s): The Last Guardian

Tags: the last guardian, team ico, fumito ueda

11/30/2011 12:27:13 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (37 posts)

Rogueagent01
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 12:55:24 PM
Reply

This makes me think it will take longer. But with the current trends of Sony and MS being more business minded and pushing developers rather then allowing them to create at their pace makes this a good decision in my eyes. This move will benefit The Last Guardian in the long run.

Last edited by Rogueagent01 on 11/30/2011 12:59:41 PM

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Looking Glass
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 11:28:12 AM

Actually Sony has a reasonably good reputation in this regard. That is taking a hands off approach to game development and letting the artists do their thing. While Sony does occasionally make requests or occasionally gives a general instruction or two they still give the artists and developers quite a bit of leeway, especially when compared to other companies like Square-Enix. One of the best examples of this would be with Heavy Rain.

And Sony has by all accounts has given Ueda quite a bit of space, hence the long development time. But it seems that even Sony does have some limits.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. This is technically rumor and hasn't actually been confirmed by either Sony or Ueda. I suggest we wait and see a bit longer.

Last edited by Looking Glass on 12/1/2011 11:29:49 AM

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 5:18:14 PM

Reasonably good isn't enough. In my eyes if you want to hire developers, programmers, writers, and artists to make a game they need to be given carte blanche. Obviously within reason and what I mean is the only control you should hold over them is funding. This is how I feel about it and if they don't want to do that, then just stick to making the systems and stop buying game studios. I obviously am more of a hippy then a business major but hey thats me.

@others
I see a lot of comments complaining about development cycles. I personally don't care if it takes a lifetime to create your project. Most of the time games that are given more time tend to be better(especially from Japanese studios) with the exception of say Duke Nukem. My only gripe is all of these conventions that pretty much guilt trip these companies into announcing games that should not be announced for at least another year or two. If the companies would do a better job of keeping these projects more secretive we the consumer would be none the wiser and would have nothing to complain about in this situation.

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Looking Glass
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 10:03:28 PM

You misspelled hippie. You just remove the "y" at the end and replace it with "ie".

A lifetime to complete one's project you say? Well, from a practical business standpoint that's madness. For publishers to always unconditionally leave developers completely to their own devices no matter what happens. I suppose this might be an ideal situation. However the sad truth is that in reality from a practical standpoint this kind of this is problematic.

But then again you indeed seem to be more of a hippie than business major as you said. In any case I appreciate your honesty.

Last edited by Looking Glass on 12/1/2011 10:08:50 PM

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Looking Glass
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 10:10:34 PM

Correction. I meant to say "this kind of thing" and not "this kind of this". I didn't notice that error until it was too late.

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Rogueagent01
Friday, December 02, 2011 @ 12:38:56 PM

No dount the lifetime comment is an exaggeration, but even if it was to take that long then all I would do as the parent company is cut your funding to almost nothing. Also not all developers require those large amounts of time just certain perfectionists, so I would only contract a few at a time. I would look for the balance between speed and quality and reward those developers that accomplish this with a blank check to make whatever project they like(again exaggerated).

Being as big as Sony is failures are more manageable thus they should be able to take greater chances with new IPs and overall length of development(which they do).

I misspelled hippie that is awesome, nice catch. English was one of my worst subjects in school so many of my posts can be a pain to read sorry in advance.

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Looking Glass
Friday, December 02, 2011 @ 4:37:00 PM

True. The people at Sony have indeed demonstrated on more than one occasion that they are perfectly willing to take chances on things like new IPs and longer development times. This of course makes this latest rumor all the more perplexing.

But as I said let's not get ahead of ourselves. This is still technically a rumor as there has been no official word from either Ueda or Sony. I say let's wait until we get some kind of official announcement before we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in debate and the like.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 1:02:18 PM
Reply

I would guess we will either see it come even later now, or not at all. I don't care what he was quoted saying. Having Sony's resources is a huge deal that many many developers would not pass on and would gladly accept. This isn't a good thing no matter how you look at it.

Companies like Sony should let developers create at their own pace, but you still have to be productive. If they can't be productive with Sony's help, well he's gonna have a lot of weight on his shoulders now. If the game does release, and gets delayed further and somehow doesn't live up to expectations, this may play a part in that. The guys a genius though so we will see.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/30/2011 1:06:19 PM

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Shams
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:18:13 PM

Some may argue that Sony has been laying down the pressure recently, both in terms of schedule, and pushing features such as Move, 3D, and Simulview.

Uncharted 3 and Killzone 3, while not having tarnished the reputations of the AAA franchises, show some evidence of that.

But as you've said, perhaps it's a matter of productivity. While most shops of turned out at least 2 or 3 titles by now, Sony is still waiting on Uaeda's.

But really, Uaeda is a certified artist, and as an artist, he has his own vision. There is only so much input and pressure one can put on him without altering his artistic vision. Sony would've done well to keep him. Though he may not be as prolific as Miyamoto and Kojima san, his works are no less influential and magnanimous.

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jimmyhandsome
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 1:08:09 PM
Reply

Ughhhh. This was probably my most anticipated game of next year. I seriously doubt it'll come out next year now. I wonder what happened that made Ueda leave Sony. We always hear stories from developers about how awesome Sony is as a publisher. Is Ueda really that stubborn to give up their resources? I'm in agreement with bigrailer, this really is never a good thing for a project.

And is the whole team now "free lancing" and no longer part of Sony?

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telly
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 1:08:45 PM
Reply

Dude, how screwed up are the big Japanese development studios these days? Projects take FOREVER, increasingly we have top developers voicing and showing frustration with how poorly Japanese teams have handled this generation, and now one of the most celebrated developers of our time quits his own damn pet project. It looks like he has an interest in finishing the game in some capacity, at least, but that is SHOCKING and VERY troublesome news. Not just for this game, but quite possibly for SCE in general.

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 1:33:32 PM

I could not agree more. Especially about projects taking FOREVER. In comparison Bethesda has made 2 huge open world rpgs before this guy can even bother bring his game to trade show to demonstrate. I agree that most Japanese studios have done a poor job this gen and that is exactly why they are in such a huge decline.

We have seen a lot of this type of thing going in Japan. Major players just up and leaving to go off in do their own thing. It's happened a Tecmo, and Capcom as well. They are also guilty of announcing games and then taking an ENTERNITY to produce them, FFvs13, and TLG were announced so long ago that they almost feel like they are mythical creatures...you only hear a few stories about them, and they are never seen in the wild. If they went any slower they would miss the entire generation of consoles they were aiming for.

Very curious to know what caused this split now. The timing seems odd. You would think he would have stayed at Sony to finish his own freaking game before going freelance. He should be working on TLG exclusively WITH Sony's resources. I know he's still going to work on it, but this is still a sad day for Sony. I highly doubt this will make the game arrive any faster. That's reaching a little bit considering the way we know Japanese studios function, and the unique nature of TLG.

One last thing. If this departure was somehow becuase Sony had issues with his production I really do not have a problem with it. You still have to be productive no matter how talented you are. He has had plenty of time to get this game done.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 11/30/2011 1:54:35 PM

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Lairfan
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:52:32 PM

To be fair Excelsior, Bethesda released 3 huge open world games that are glitchy as hell and should have had a LOT more dev time to make sure they ran properly. And two of those games (Oblivion and Skyrim) are nearly identical in how they play except that you can dual wield in one. Whenever The Last Guardian gets done (if it ever gets done), it'll probably be a lot higher quality overall and definitely a lot more unique.

Though I agree with everything else you say.

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Fane1024
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 5:49:58 AM

Isn't this exactly what S-E said recently, that they (and by extension other Japanese developers) need to shorten their development cycles and get games in people's hands?

p.s. Lacking more details, I'd compare the Ueda situation to that of Jaffe post-GOW1.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 12/1/2011 5:52:06 AM

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Excelsior1
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 9:35:32 AM

Yes that is exactly what Square said. I do not have a problem with that. In fact it would be nice to see Sony rein in Yamauchi as well. The GT series has made them boat loads of money in the past but the state GT5 shipped showed that given carte blanch Yamauchi will continue throw eveything he can into the game up until the last minute instead saying "We've got enough content. Now let's polish the heck out of it." GT5 is easily the most unpolished of the GT games. Given the series reputation for perfection I was pretty shocked by some of the unpolished aspects of GT5 considering the time spent on making the game. I'm probably not qualified to judge GT5 though. These 5-6 year development cycles are a thing of the past though. If Yamauchi can't make a game in a timely manner anymore then kick the guy upstairs and bring in somebody who can.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 12/1/2011 9:36:41 AM

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Lotusflow3r
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 2:18:41 PM
Reply

If Ueda is gone, so has the brightest jewel in Sony's game crown.

Very, very unsettling news.

However, i think it's a rumour that is also exaggerated.

Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 11/30/2011 2:21:46 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 2:24:30 PM
Reply

That isn't good news for anyone. But I can't blame Sony, there should be pressure to actually accomplish something. You can't have games hanging in the balance forever once you have given the developer your full support and they just don't deliver. It's been clear for awhile now they haven't hadn't even chosen a direction for the game.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 2:41:29 PM

Could be a case of,
Sony: Ok Ueda, how's that game coming along.
Ueda: I'm Fumito Ueda
Sony: Yes, and we love your talent. But here's the thing... it's been a while... it's still... happening... right?
Ueda: Didn't you hear me? I'm Fumito Ueda! That is all you need to know.
Sony: Yes, well, if you want our support, you have to keep us updated... you know... so we know this thing will get done.
Ueda: "I'm Fumito Ueda. If I touch it... it will be gold. You do not seem to realize I am Fumito Ueda. I'm leaving you now. I'll help you when I feel like it..... Fumito Ueda."

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CrusaderForever
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 3:21:17 PM

@Underdog15

LOL! What are you a fly on the wall?! I wouldn't doubt it actually happened like this. Maybe not verbatim but close.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 3:30:00 PM

Underdog,
If the rumor's true, your's the same vibe I'm getting from it too.

I don't think it's a good thing when you're losing Sony's backing, tools, & other vast resources.

And now that Ueda has nobody to keep a fire lit under his a$$, and at the super-slow rate that he's already been taking to do TLG already, we might not see him truly finish TLG until the PS5 is 1/2 though it's own life-cycle.

So I'm really not too optimistic about ever seeing TLG this gen at all, if this rumor's true.

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Underdog15
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 9:08:32 AM

Very true, Biker. Especially when you consider how many people Sony has stuck with through thick and thin. They trust their developers. You'd have to think it would take a lot for Sony to actually pull out of something... afterall... they almost never do.

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FullmetalX10
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 2:53:34 PM
Reply

Damn -_- I did not see this coming at all.
I hope it still stays Playstation exclusive.

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CrusaderForever
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 3:22:56 PM

My prediction is that he is going to get funding and open his own studio. His first game on the PS4 and X720 will be the Last Guardian. It actually might be a launch title.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 3:57:10 PM

No it's an internal game, he can't take it with him. Can he?

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Lotusflow3r
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:01:22 PM

No, it's Sony's property and so is anything under Team Ico which is a Sony owned studio.

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DjEezzy
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:50:02 PM
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while this game looks amazing and everything. it's hardly my most anticipated. I think that reward goes to Twisted metal and Bioshock Infinite. Can't wait for those 2 games!!!

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Lairfan
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:58:26 PM
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Well this sucks. I was really looking forward to this game, but without Sony's resources I doubt Ueda will ever be able to finish it.

I understand that creating stuff like Ueda does takes time, but you've got to be productive too. If Sony was putting pressure on Team ICO, its because they were taking way too damn long to figure out what to do with the game. You gotta balance productivity and creativity, not just go all out on creativity and take a millennia to finish the game. I mean, look at Naughty Dog for example. Churning out another Uncharted in 2 years, and I don't care what people say, its the best one yet.

In other words, I think Ueda may be in the wrong here. Course it all doesn't matter till this rumor is confirmed.

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karneli lll
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 5:31:40 PM
Reply

Last guardian is now multiplatform! Just kidding but it is possible. I think There is nothing on the last guardian but a trailer and concept art

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___________
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 3:27:38 AM

how is it possible?
seriously dude think before you speak!
TLG, a game made by SONY JAPPAN going MP is as possible as halo 4, a game being made by 343 industries, a company owned by M$ going MP!

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Robochic
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 5:46:53 PM
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that sucks I was really looking forward to this game.

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Alienange
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 5:57:10 PM
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Is he even allowed to do that? Wouldn't TLG be considered Sony's property?? Either way this is terrible news.

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TheCanadianGuy
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 6:39:55 PM
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wait a sec how could it go multiplatform ? isn't team ico first party ? i thought they were anyway

Last edited by TheCanadianGuy on 11/30/2011 6:40:43 PM

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mike rlz
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 11:47:18 PM
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long, drawn out, disappointed sigh.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 12:56:12 AM
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Okay... The Last Guardian is a Sony owned property, being developed at Team ICO, which is a subsidiary of Sony Japan. The lead designer/creator Fumito Ueda is RUMOURED to have left the team, remaining with them to finish off the game, but ultimately working as a contractor, rather than an employee. It doesn't mean that TLG is cancelled, or going multiplatform or any such nonsense as that.

But Ueda leaving, I think, is tragic. He's a visionary and Sony has let him fly thus far. Surely they can't have been applying so much pressure that he couldn't take it. Maybe he, like many others, feels that AAA development is too long, difficult and seemingly unsatisfying and wants to test his creativity with smaller projects. Oh, how I hope.

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Fane1024
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 5:55:37 AM

Ding ding ding ding ding!

Like I said...Jaffe.

I read this story first elsewhere and I *think* Ben's interpretation is wrong.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 12/1/2011 5:57:36 AM

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___________
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 3:25:19 AM
Reply

sigh.
hear that?
its the sound of a thousand baby kittens crying!
figures, the only ps3 exclusive i was looking forward to next year looks like wont even be releasing next year!

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gumbi
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 9:47:23 AM
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Man, Last Guardian has been my most anticipated game of this console generation. I will be crushed if it doesn't happen.

This better not be because Sony is pushing them to support gimmicks like Move/3D.

Well, whatever happens; All the best to Ueda and his future projects!

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