What is TeamICO?

“With ICO we focused more on the puzzle elements to keep Princess Yorda safe, and in Shadow of the Colossus we focused on driving you to defeating colossi, at a cost. With The Last Guardian we examine the changing relationship between the boy and Trico, and the challenges that [this] represents as you try to discover the game’s mysteries.”

Fumito Ueda

Team Ico (name often stylized as Team ICO) is a video game development team for Sony Computer Entertainment, led by Fumito Ueda. They are currently a part of SIE Japan Studio’s Product Development Department #1. Since their founding in 1997, they have only released three games – IcoShadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian – but they have gained an increasing amount of attention and respect with each passing year.

Ueda’s games have a rather unique feel. They are characterized by a small cast, strong but minimalist storytelling, atmospheric use of bloom and HDR lighting, a lush soundtrack that plays only during key sequences, fictional spoken languages, and a distinctive art style. Cutscenes are short, transitioning from cinematic footage to gameplay in a seamless, natural fashion. Architectural design is coupled with cinematography in such a way that emphasizes the scale between the player and their surroundings, making even the trained warrior in Shadow appear outmatched by the world before him.

Recurring themes and motifs include the role of fate, mortal fallibility, friendship, supernatural Entities, loss of control over one’s situation, and physical degradation. Characters’ decisions are forever bound by dark consequences, even if their intentions were pure of heart. “Winning” will come at a cost.

Since creating Shadow of the Colossus with TeamICO in 2005, Fumito Ueda left Sony to start his own studio GenDESIGN, the group responsible for releasing The Last Guardian. They are currently working on a new, untitled game that has yet to be given a release date.

Contents

  1. List of Members
  2. Official Art & Guidebooks
  3. Original Soundtracks
  4. TeamICO Overview & Interview
  5. Credits

List of Members [1]

What follows is a list of all known members of Team Ico, listed in alphabetical order. See the following links for the complete credits of ICOShadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian, respectively. [Where did this table come from? Scroll to “Credits.”]

Name

Worked On

Description

Ico

SotC

TLG

Ahira Sato

Y

Y

N

Supervisor

Akinori Maeda

N

N

Y

Program Manager

Arata Nakajima

N

N

Y

Motion Programmer

Atsuhi Morioka

Y

N

N

Background Artist

Atsuhiko Terad

N

Y Y

Field Design (SotC), Technical Artist (TLG)

Atsuko Fukuyama

Y Y

N

Character Animator

Chihiro Kanno

N

N

Y

Game Designer

Chika Fukui

Y

N

N

Character Designer

Chikara Ueno

Y

N

N

Background Artist

Daisuke Uchikawa

N Y Y

Character Animator

Felicien Nozieres

N

N

Y

Environment Artist

Fumiaki Hara

Y

N

N

System Programmer

Fumito Ueda

Y

Y Y

Director, lead game/character designer and animator

Fumiya Takeno

Y Y

N

Supervisor

Haijime Sugiyama

Y Y Y

Lead Programmer

Hidehisa Harada

N

N

Y

Motion Programmer

Hironobu Nakano

N

Y Y

Effects Artist

Hitoshi Ishikawa

N

N

Y

Physics Programmer

Hitoshi Niwa

N

Y Y

Character Artist

Jinji Horagai

Y Y

N

System Programmer, Yorda AI Programmer

Jun Tsubuku

N

Y

N

Field Collision

Junichi Hosono

Y Y Y

Planning & Game Script

Kaihei Hayano

Y

N

N

Background Artist

Katsuhiko Abe

Y

Y

N

Background Artist, Field Designer

Kayoko Sato

N

Y

N

Field Designer

Kazuhiro Numata

Y Y

N

Background Artist, Character Designer, Field Designer

Kazutomo Sasaki

N Y

N

Animal System Programmer

Kei Kuwabara

Y N

N

Planner (designer of Yorda’s language)

Keiichi Kitahara

Y

N

N

Sound Effects

Keiichiro Ishihara

N

N

Y

AI Programmer

Keita Usami

N

N

Y

Animator

Kenji Kaido

Y

Y

N

Line Producer, Project Manager

Kibi Wakisaka

N

Y

N

Field Designer

Koichiro Wada

N

N

Y

Environment Artist

Koji Hasegawa

N Y

N

Field Designer

Makoto Izawa

N N

Y

Visual Programmer

Makoto Yamaguchi

N

Y

N

Planning & Sound Testing

Masaaki Kaneko

Y

N

N

Sound Effects Designer

Masanobu Tanaka

N Y

Y

Character and Technical Animator

Masanori Kajita

N

Y

N

Field Designer

Masashi Kudo

N Y

Y

Planning & Game Script

Masatsuka Saeki

Y Y

N

Supervisor

Mikiko Takeda

Y

N

N

Background Artist

Mitsuhiro Shimooki

Y Y

N

Background Artist, Character Designer, Field Designer

Mizuho Yonemoto

N N

Y

AI Programmer

Mizuki Muramatsu

Y

N

N

Character Animation (Shadow creatures, Ico)

Nanako Omura

Y Y

N

Background Artist, Field Designer

Nao Yamasaki

N Y

N

Field Collision

Naofumi Ito

N N

Y

Technical Animator

Naoki Hirai

N N

Y

Motion Programmer

Rie Tamura

N

N

Y

Associate Producer

Rory Little

N

Y

N

Character Animator

Rui Guerreiro

N N

Y

Character Artist

Ryoma Matsuya

N N

Y

Technical Animator

Shinya Ishikawa

N N

Y

Motion Programmer

Shotaro Omori

Y

N

N

Character and Objects Programmer, Yorda AI Programmer

Shuhei Yoshida

N N

Y

Supervisor

Shuinan Sukawa

N

N

Y

Animator

Shunpei Suzuki

N

Y

Y

Character Designer/Artist

Sousuke Honda

N

Y

N

Character Animator

Taijurou Hachiya

Y

N

N

Background Artist

Takashi Izutani

N

Y

N

Planning & Game Script

Takashi Kawashima

N Y

N

Field Collision

Takeharu Tanimura

N N

Y

Motion Programmer

Takeshi Ambe

Y

N

N

Character Animation (Ico, Yorda, the Queen)

Takeshi Asano

N Y

N

Planning & Camera Testing

Takeshi Nakagawa

N Y

Y

System Programmer

Takeshi Ochiai

N Y

N

Field Designer

Takeshi Okazawa

N Y

Y

Field Designer (SotC), Environment Artist (TLG)

Takuya Seki

Y

Y

N

Visual/Engine/GUI Programmer

Tatsuhiko Tachibe

N

Y

N

Character Animator

Tatsushi Kuriyama

N N

Y

Environment Artist

Teppei Ikeda

N Y

N

Camera Programmer

Tomikazu Kirita

N Y

N

Supervisor

Tomohisa Oda

N N

Y

Environment Artist

Tomohito Ito

N N

Y

Physics Programmer

Toshihiro Ito

Y Y

N

Character/Objects/Tools Programmer

Toshihiro Kamei

N

N

Y

Technical Animator

Tsubasa Ito

N N

Y

Sound Designer

Tsunehiko Shibata

N N

Y

Camera Programmer

Tsutomu Kouno

Y N

N

Game Planner, Background Artist

Yasuhide Kobayashi

Y Y

Y

Executive Producer (Ico, SotC), Supervisor (TLG)

Yasutaka Asakura

N

N

Y

Producer

Yasutoshi Mori

N N

Y

Tools Programmer

Yoshifusa Hayama

N

N

Y

Executive Producer

Yosuke Shingai

N

N

Y

Game Designer

Yuta Kimura

N

Y

Y

Technical Artist


Official Art and Guidebooks [2]

In addition to releasing the games, official art & guidebooks were released separately to further the players’ experience. These books contain concept artwork created during the many stages of a game’s development, as well as a featured interview with the team. As with the ICO Official Guide BookThe Shadow of the Colossus official Artbook and Guidebook was never released outside of Japan. Players have thus made page scans and complete translations of the books so that foreign viewers may also appreciate them. GlitterBerri’s Game Translations is a notable and rather splendid example of a guidebook translation. The Last Guardian: An Extraordinary Story however, was released to a worldwide audience, much to fans’ excitement.


Original Soundtracks [3]

One of the most memorable aspects of each TeamICO game is its music. Where most videogame soundtracks play in every location and level, the music of Ueda’s trilogy was utilized carefully so that it might make the greatest contribution. Music only plays during cinematics or through an in-game battle sequence and, even then there are long stretches of silence.

Composer Michiru Ōshima was responsible for the creation of ICO’s soundtrack, ‘Melody in the Mist.’ Of the three scores, this is the most atmospheric in nature, only two tracks (Castle in the Mist and You Were There) pulling player’s focus from the visuals. It seems Ōshima’s aim was not to compose a centerpiece but, to delicately round out the other aspects of the game. Track four pleasantly utilizes the mandolin, ukulele and guitar for the game’s main theme.

Kō Ōtani’s score ‘Roar of the Earth’ for Shadow of the Colossus is more dynamically tied to the game’s story, sometimes pulling back to let the visuals take the light while, at other occasions demanding the player’s full attention. (The contrast between Commandment and Premonition of Revival is a good example.) Unlike ‘Melody in the Mist’, ‘Roar of the Earth’ is predominately orchestral, only containing a handful of cues where a flute synthesizer takes the lead. A unique feature of this score is its use of the Bouzouki in tracks such as Prologue and The Farthest Land.

Takeshi Furukawa’s score for The Last Guardian brings everything together by taking the Trilogy full circle. Completely orchestral and featuring a boys choir, Furukawa’s compositions are the most traditional of the three scores, sounding akin to music made for motion pictures. Epic yet delicate, soaring yet weighty, this soundtrack powerfully conveys Guardian‘s haunting narrative without overstating emotion (see End Titles Suite). The dulcimer brings finesse to both moments of danger and refuge.


TeamICO Overview & Interview [4]

GameSpot overview of TeamICO’s original titles, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, giving a bird’s-eye view of their creation, development, and impact on TeamICO’s latest release, The Last Guardian.

Music includes 04 Castle in the Mist, 01 Prologue ~ To the Ancient Land, 01 Overture: Lore, and 19 Epilogue.

IGN 20-minute interview with TeamICO members Fumito Ueda, Kenji Kaido, and Junchi Hosono. Made somewhere between 2011 and 2014, when the “Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Remastered Collection” was released and, Fumito Ueda’s departure from Sony occurred, respectively.


Credits [5]

This is an article from the TeamICO FANDOM Wiki; if you take a look at its version history, you can see that this version (13:42, June 29, 2019‎) is my work. Sections titled “Official Art & Guidebooks” and “Original Soundtracks” did not exist in the Wiki page prior to my version.

Credit goes to Wiki contributors Fritjov, Dormin, Vanjokoozie, NateDan, 76.188.126.62, GertdeHond, 189.11.102.57, Wunkt, Golden Specter, Ozzkat, and Tephra for first writing the article and making revisions up until version 00:11, June 28, 2019‎. Videos are by GameStop and IGN.

UPDATE: Section titled “TeamICO Overview & Interview” is exclusive to this blog. The introduction to this article has also been revised, including the addition of paragraphs two and three which concern the style and artistry of Ueda’s games. The TeamICO Wiki page has been updated to reflect revisions made in this blog’s page; 22:10, July 29, 2019‎.


Here is how to credit the header image…

Unless credited otherwise, all PlayStation4 screenshots of “Shadow of the Colossus” and “The Last Guardian” (including header images) are my work.