Following rumors of his departure from the company, Sony has confirmed that The Last Guardian director Fumito Ueda is "under contract," and working to finish The Last Guardian. The company was notably light on details regarding what is happening at Team Ico.
"Ueda-san is in fact under contract," Sony told IGN, "and is committed to completing his work on The Last Guardian."
This seems to confirm the rumor that Ueda is no longer officially with Sony, but rather working in a freelance capacity to finish the project. That would mean that one of Sony's most critically-acclaimed producers is no longer tied to the company, which could land a blow to first-party exclusives moving forward.
Sony's statement doesn't shed any new light on the confirmed departure of executive producer Yoshifusa Hayama. He migrated to Facebook developer Bossa Studios only a week after rumors began to swirl regarding Ueda. While the reasons stated were strictly about his desire to make compelling social titles, the timing didn't go unnoticed.