Fumito Ueda

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Fumito Ueda
Native name 上田 文人
Born (1970-09-16) September 16, 1970 (age 46)[1]
Tatsuno, Nagano, Japan
Occupation Game director, screenwriter, game designer
Years active 1996–present
Notable work Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian

Fumito Ueda (上田 文人 Ueda Fumito?, born September 16, 1970) is a Japanese video game designer. Ueda was director and lead designer of the PlayStation 2 acclaimed video games Ico and Shadow of the Colossus developed in Sony Computer Entertainment.[1]

His games have achieved popular cult status and are distinguished by a severe economy of plot and scenario, illustrated with overexposed, desaturated light, fictional languages, and sparse dialogue. He has often been described as an "auteur" video game director.[1]


Early times[edit]

Born in Tatsuno, Ueda graduated from the Osaka University of Arts in 1993.[1] In 1995, after trying to make a living as an artist, Ueda decided to pursue a career in the video game industry.[1] 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.[1] He described his time there as "arduous",[2] as the game was behind schedule and everyone on the project had to work more than normal to meet the release deadline.

2000s: Sony[edit]

In 1997, Ueda successfully joined Sony Computer Entertainment as a first-party developer.[1] In Sony Computer Entertainment's SIE Japan Studio, he began work on Ico. After Ico, Ueda and his small team, better known as Team Ico started working on a game originally titled NICO, but later retitled as Shadow of the Colossus.[1]

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 installments.[5]

2010s: The Last Guardian and future projects[edit]

Main article: The Last Guardian

He left Sony in December, 2011, although remained under contract to finish works on The Last Guardian.[6] After years of development hell, The Last Guardian, was announced for release on October 25, 2016 during Sony's presentation at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2016 in June, but then later delayed to December 6, 2016.[7]

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.[8]

Influences and style[edit]

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."[9]

Ueda's games are considered to have a very distinctive style, which Ueda himself describes as "design by subtraction", with sparse landscapes, oversaturated lighting and minimalist story to give his games a personal and distinctive feel.[1] Ueda also admitted that, in video games, ideas for a gameplay mechanic should be made first, then complimented by a game's story.[1]

In 2008, IGN, included Ueda in Top 100 Game Creators of All Time, saying "Ueda's knack for creating atmospheric puzzle playgrounds with mute or near-mute characters instills a sense of isolation, yet provides an endearing feeling of hope as the protagonists seek simply to find an exodus or redemption from their weather-worn, ornate prisons".[10]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Fumito Ueda". Giant Bomb. Retrieved June 29, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Fumito Ueda at Game For Future 2007". 2007. Archived from the original on October 17, 2008. 
  3. ^ Gibson, Ellie. "Sony boss praises Ico team's new game". Eurogamer. 
  4. ^ E3 Reveals The Last Guardian
  5. ^ "News - The Last Guardian sera bien lié à Ico et Shadow of the Colossus" (in French). 24 September 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Curtis, Tom. "Confirmed: Ico Creator Fumito Ueda Leaves Sony". Gamasutra. 
  7. ^ Bohn, Dieter (13 June 2016). "The Last Guardian is coming to PlayStation 4 on October 25th". The Verge. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Pigna, Kris. "Fumito Ueda Interested in Making First-Person Games". 1up. 
  9. ^ Barder, Ollie. "A break from the norm". The Guardian. 
  10. ^ "46. Fumito Ueda". IGN. 2008. Retrieved June 29, 2016. 
  11. ^ "The Story of Fumito Ueda". shmuplations.com. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 

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