Ico, Shadow of the Colossus and The Last Guardian creator Fumito Ueda has left Sony, Eurogamer understands.
Japanese video game development sources indicated the 41-year-old is working on finishing oft-delayed PlayStation 3 exclusive The Last Guardian in a freelance capacity.
Ueda's departure from Sony internal development studio Team Ico is one of the reasons for the game's protracted development, Eurogamer was told.
Following the completion of the game, Ueda will embark on personal projects.
In September Sony reassured gamers that Team Ico was still "hard at work" on The Last Guardian, despite the high-profile PS3 exclusive missing the Tokyo Game Show.
The previous month SCE Studios president Shuhei Yoshida gave an exasperated-sounding Last Guardian progress update:
"It's been very difficult in terms of seeing the progress: not as fast as we'd been hoping for, and the team has been under big pressure," he said.
Sony told Eurogamer it does not comment on rumour and speculation.