Shadow of the Colossus creator Fumito Ueda has revealed that he only became interested in making video games in order to make money, as his true passion involved something else.
Ask anyone what game exemplifies the term "games as art," and there's a strong chance the answer will be Shadow Of The Colossus. Fumito Ueda, the creator of both Colossus and its predecessor Ico, has managed to create visually stunning worlds, that have captivated players to no end. Colossus, in particular, is still highly regarded as one of the greatest games of all time, and even to this day, it is a big hit with gamers everywhere.
However, why did Ueda create these games? To make the Citizen Kane of video games? To make a piece of art that would stand the test of time? To finally solidify games as a serious art form, and not just a waste of time meant for children?
Nope, it turns out that he just really needed a paycheck.
Reboot Develop Blue is a games conference that takes place in Dubrovnik, Croatia. At this year's event, the opening keynote featured Ueda, as well as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice director Hidetaki Miyazaki. During this keynote, Ueda revealed that game development was actually his second choice for a career path. In reality, he wanted to be an artist. However, like most artists, he soon realized that he wouldn't be able to make a living doing what he wanted, so he started making games.
Ben Judd, the English translator who reinterpreted Ueda's words during the presentation, stated that "when he graduated from college, from university, he said 'I don't know if that's going to pay. I don't know if that's a realistic dream to have, doing art.' In his mind, he was constantly thinking 'I'll only be in the game industry for a few years.'"
However, much like many artists who take on "temporary" jobs until their art careers take off, that few years has stretched into nearly two decades now.
Since working on Ico, Ueda has looked at every other game he's made as potentially his last. According to Ueda, however, he's now at peace with the idea that he's likely going to spend the rest of his life as a game designer, although he apparently only found that peace five years ago.
To be fair to Ueda, though, if his goal was to be an artist, he's still accomplished that in the games industry. All of his games (yes, even The Last Guardian) are breathtakingly gorgeous and manage to tell emotional stories with characters players care about, despite using little to no dialogue. They absolutely should be considered amazing works of art.
So far, we have very little information on the next game that Ueda and his studio, genDesign, are working on. It's in the very early stages, but Ueda has said that it will be similar in scale to titles like Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus. Whatever it is, it'll likely be well worth the wait. However, considering how long it took for The Last Guardian to come out, it might be a very, very long wait.