Fumito Ueda

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Fumito Ueda in October 2005

Fumito Ueda (上田 文人 Ueda Fumito?, born April 19, 1970) is a video game designer born in Tatsuno, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan in 1970. Ueda is director and lead designer of the PlayStation 2 video games Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.

He described himself as a very inquisitive child saying "I enjoyed catching and keeping living things, such as fish or birds. Other than that, I liked both watching and making animation. Basically, I seemed to be interested in things that moved." Among his favorite subjects in school was art: a discipline which still plays an active role in Ueda's life, and which under different circumstances could have led to an alternate choice of occupation. "If I was not in the games industry, I would want to become a classical artist. Though I regard not only games but also anything that expresses something - be it films, novels or manga - as forms of art."[this quote needs a citation]

Ueda graduated from the Osaka University of Arts in 1993. In 1995, after trying to make a living as an artist, Ueda decided to pursue a career in the video game industry.

He joined video game developer WARP and worked as an animator on the game Enemy Zero for the Sega Saturn under video game director Kenji Eno. He described his time there as "arduous",[1][dead link] as the game was behind schedule and everyone on the project had to work more than normal to meet the release deadline. In 1997, Ueda successfully joined Sony Computer Entertainment as a first-party developer. (He left in Dec, 2011 -- although is under contract to finish The Last Guardian.)[2]

His games have achieved popular cult status and are distinguished by a severe economy of plot and scenario, illustrated with overexposed, desaturated light and sparse dialogue. He describes this approach as "design by subtraction." He has often been described as an "auteur" video game director.

Future projects[edit]

In February 2007, Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu reported that Ueda and his team were working on a new game for the PlayStation 3. No details about the unnamed title were revealed. In 2008, in the August edition of PlayStation Magazine, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida described the game as "really, really good". Yoshida also commented that both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus took 4 years to develop as a hint that the game is under production, but is not close to release.[3] E3 2009 revealed the game as The Last Guardian, the trailer for which suggests a saga involving elements of both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus wherein a young boy resembling Ico partners up with a colossus-sized companion to complete puzzles.[4] Ueda later confirmed The Last Guardian to be related to the two previous achievements.[5] In an interview, Ueda also admitted he would like to create a first person shooter after finishing The Last Guardian, citing Half-Life 2 as a source of interest.[6] In December 2011 he suddenly left Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Team ICO for unclear reasons without official comments from Sony, but he will finish "The Last Guardian" in a freelance capacity.

The genesis of Ico[edit]

Among other tools, Ueda was an owner of the Commodore Amiga computers (A500 first then A4000). This is uncommon in Japan where this range of computers was not very popular. During these years he learned to use Newtek Lightwave, and eventually the first mock-ups and testbeds for Ico were created with Lightwave 3D. The main inspiration for Ico came from Eric Chahi's Amiga classic Another World[citation needed], which was called Outer World in Japan.

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