Speaking at the DICE summit this week, Yoshida said:
The project has been making progress, but slow progress. 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 realized, 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. That's why [it's taking so long].
Asked about Fumito Ueda’s employment status, Yoshida clarified:
He was an employee, and now he's working on a contract basis. You know, we discussed an arrangement so he could focus on the creative side. It was just more a contractual rearrangement, and that was taken [by many] as "he left".
According to Yoshida, Ueda’s involvement in the game hasn’t diminished as a result of the contractual rearrangement. “He comes in every day, and he's probably one of the people who works the longest hours,” Yoshida explained.
But what of the future? Will Fumito Ueda still work at Sony once The Last Guardian is finished?
If this project goes well. We’ve worked with him for a long time so, yeah, I certainly hope we can maintain a relationship.
Cross everything you’ve got.