Word's trickled down that Yoshifusa Hayama, the Executive Producer of the highly anticipated PS3 adventure The Last Guardian, has quit Sony to work on "social games." This comes not long after the highly substantiated rumors that Fumito Ueda, the game's creative lead and head of developer Team ICO, has also left Sony as well. While Ueda remains tight-lipped (except to assure fans that The Last Guardian is still in production) due reportedly to a company-wide gag order, Hayama's already released a statement.
But since he's leaving to join News Corp-owned social games developer Bossa Studios, his statement is largely nonsense: "The future of gaming is definitely online and thanks to recent developments with Flash 11," he said. "There is no reason why a social game can no longer be as visually stunning and as compelling as the big console titles.
"Together at Bossa we have plans to bring a plethora of games to Facebook and eventually other appropriate social media channels, which include 3D elements and can be enjoyed by all age and interest groups."
We'd have preferred a real response to something clearly written by an unpaid PR intern. The fact is, The Last Guardian is a game that means a lot to a lot of people. When two of the top individuals working on it jump ship toward the end of its development cycle, we've got reason to worry.
Furthermore, anyone working on a Team ICO game should understand that games are art. If Hayama's statement at all reflects his true beliefs, then he clearly shouldn't have been involved with the project at all. That is, unless you think Monstermind is as "stunning and compelling" as Shadow of the Colossus.