Fumito Ueda’s output is small but very familar to Edge readers – the towering forms of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. He’s most recently been working on The Last Guardian, though it’s now heavily-delayed.
In Edge 261, we interview him about his career, his decision to leave Sony and how art motivates him. Here are a few excerpts:
Given your impatience, how taxing have the past eight years been on you as a creator?
Putting aside the short-term output, more than anything I feel terribly sorry that for various reasons I have kept my audience waiting for such a long time.
How do you keep your team motivated over a production cycle of five years or more?
Maintaining motivation is all about producing something great. A hobby or alcohol might help to refresh you temporarily, but they won’t motivate creativity. Also, the original staff members on Ico and SOTC are just as fussy over details as I am. I always want to create quickly, and I always want to increase the rate of production. In the case of The Last Guardian, my creative work was mostly finished a long time ago, but the details of when, where and how it will be completed are beyond my control.
Why did you decide to go freelance?
It’s difficult to explain, but in a nutshell it was because I felt a sense of crisis within myself about a lot of things. It’s hard to [say exactly what], but in terms of my own growth and career and so on.
What did it feel like to leave a company where you had worked for so long?
When I worked at SCE, I was on an annual contract, so it was not as much of a change as those around me might think. Recently, I’ve been working at my home office and often at SCE’s Shinagawa office in Tokyo.
What was Sony’s reaction?
It was not easy, but I can’t go into the details just yet. It will be good to be able to discuss it along with a post-mortem of The Last Guardian someday.
What are you working on now?
The Last Guardian and the rest is secret. Outside of games, well, just for a hobby, I’d like to try my hand at art.
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