Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida admits that Team Ico has been forced into "scrapping and rebuilding" long-awaited PS3 exclusive The Last Guardian to ensure it fits director Fumito Ueda's vision.
"The project has been making progress, but slow progress," Yoshida told 1UP at this week's DICE Summit in Las Vegas. "So that's tough, but we haven't changed any focus.
"It's still a really important project and a vision we want to see realised, and Fumito's vision is really causing a very difficult challenge for the developers, so there's some scrapping and rebuilding, iteration in the process."
In December it emerged that Ueda had quit Sony, and was completing work on The Last Guardian on a freelance basis. Yoshida insists, however, that Ueda is as committed to the project as ever, and that he hopes the Ico and Shadow Of The Colossuscreator will continue to work with Sony after The Last Guardian is finally completed.
"He was an employee, and now he's working on a contract basis," Yoshida said. "We discussed an arrangement so he could focus on the creative side. But his work and his presence on that team never changed, so it was just more a contractual rearrangement.
"He comes in every day, and he's probably one of the people who works the longest hours. If this project goes well - you know, fingers crossed - we've worked with him for a long time so yeah, I certainly hope we can maintain a relationship."
First announced at E3 in 2009, The Last Guardian was due to be released in 2011. Last April, Ueda announced the game would be delayed to 2012 to ensure "better quality of content."