Update: Gamasutra has confirmed that Fumito Ueda has, indeed, left Sony. He will continue to work on The Last Guardian on a contractual basis and is committed to finishing the title.
Ueda, creator of Ico and its spiritual successors, has reportedly left Sony and Team Ico, according to Eurogamer. The site was told Ueda’s departure from the studio and his status as a freelancer on The Last Guardian is one of the primary reasons for the title’s repeated delays. However, he’s still working on the game, so it’s (hopefully) not a mirror of the Keiji-Inafune-Mega-Man-Legends-3 situation.
Eurogamer reports that Ueda will go on to helm other projects once production of The Last Guardian wraps up for good. At the very least, fans of the universe Team Ico has established can rest a little easier having heard some explanation for the newest entry in the series’ delays and strange absence at this year’s Tokyo Game Show.
We’re still being told The Last Guardian will be released in 2012. Hopefully the current relationship between Ueda and Sony is better than Inafune’s was with Capcom toward the end of his time there. The Last Guardian will definitely release someday, but we’ve waited long enough, right?