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 SCE Japan Studio's Product Development Department #1. Since their founding in 1997, they have only released three games - Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian - but they have gained an increasing amount of attention and respect with each passing year.
Their games are characterized by a very small but endearing and memorable cast, minimalist but strong storytelling, atmospheric use of bloom and HDR lighting, a soundtrack that plays only during cutscenes or battles, fictional spoken languages, a distinct art style, and strong animation.
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.
Ico, a young boy born with a pair of horns, is sent by his people into a remote fortress to starve within a cold tomb. When fate intervenes and Ico breaks free of his prison, he soon finds a young girl with the power to open the castle's many gates. The two must work together against not only the crumbling castle's puzzles and traps, but also the wrath of its minions and monarch.
In a lonely, barren land at the ends of the earth, a wanderer travels on horseback to an immense shrine in the hopes of resurrecting a young woman. Dormin, a booming voice residing in the Shrine's great hall, strikes a deal with him: slay the sixteen colossi that reside in the lands, and the woman will live again. Though he is being pursued and is warned that his actions may come at a great price, the wanderer is determined to uphold his end of the dark bargain.
In the midst of an extensive ruin, a boy finds an unlikely ally in a giant, griffin-like creature whom he calls Trico. The two will face many obstacles on their journey, both in the environment itself and in the mysterious knights and beasts who stand in their way.
List of members
What follows is a list of all known members of Team Ico, listed in alphabetical order. See the following links for the complete credits for ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian, respectively.
|Akinori Maeda||No||No||Yes||Program Manager|
|Arata Nakajima||No||No||Yes||Motion Programmer|
|Atsuhi Morioka||Yes||No||No||Background Artist|
|Atsuhiko Terada||No||Yes||Yes||Field Design (SotC), Technical Artist (TLG)|
|Atsuko Fukuyama||Yes||Yes||No||Character Animator|
|Chihiro Kanno||No||No||Yes||Game Designer|
|Chika Fukui||Yes||No||No||Character Designer|
|Chikara Ueno||Yes||No||No||Background Artist|
|Daisuke Uchikawa||No||Yes||Yes||Character Animator|
|Felicien Nozieres||No||No||Yes||Environment Artist|
|Fumiaki Hara||Yes||No||No||System Programmer|
|Fumito Ueda||Yes||Yes||Yes||Director, lead game/character designer and animator|
|Haijime Sugiyama||Yes||Yes||Yes||Lead Programmer|
|Hidehisa Harada||No||No||Yes||Motion Programmer|
|Hironobu Nakano||No||Yes||Yes||Effects Artist|
|Hitoshi Ishikawa||No||No||Yes||Physics Programmer|
|Hitoshi Niwa||No||Yes||Yes||Character Artist|
|Jinji Horagai||Yes||Yes||No||System Programmer, Yorda AI Programmer|
|Jun Tsubuku||No||Yes||No||Field Collision|
|Junichi Hosono||Yes||Yes||Yes||Planning & Game Script|
|Kaihei Hayano||Yes||No||No||Background Artist|
|Katsuhiko Abe||Yes||Yes||No||Background Artist, Field Designer|
|Kayoko Sato||No||Yes||No||Field Designer|
|Kazuhiro Numata||Yes||Yes||No||Background Artist, Character Designer, Field Designer|
|Kazutomo Sasaki||No||Yes||No||Animal System Programmer|
|Kei Kuwabara||Yes||No||No||Planner (designer of Yorda's language)|
|Keiichi Kitahara||Yes||No||No||Sound Effects|
|Keiichiro Ishihara||No||No||Yes||AI Programmer|
|Kenji Kaido||Yes||Yes||No||Line Producer, Project Manager|
|Kibi Wakisaka||No||Yes||No||Field Designer|
|Koichiro Wada||No||No||Yes||Environment Artist|
|Koji Hasegawa||No||Yes||No||Field Designer|
|Makoto Izawa||No||No||Yes||Visual Programmer|
|Makoto Yamaguchi||No||Yes||No||Planning & Sound Testing|
|Masaaki Kaneko||Yes||No||No||Sound Effects Designer|
|Masanobu Tanaka||No||Yes||Yes||Character and Technical Animator|
|Masanori Kajita||No||Yes||No||Field Designer|
|Masashi Kudo||No||Yes||Yes||Planning & Game Script|
|Mikiko Takeda||Yes||No||No||Background Artist|
|Mitsuhiro Shimooki||Yes||Yes||No||Background Artist, Character Designer, Field Designer|
|Mizuho Yonemoto||No||No||Yes||AI Programmer|
|Mizuki Muramatsu||Yes||No||No||Character Animation (Shadow creatures, Ico)|
|Nanako Omura||Yes||Yes||No||Background Artist, Field Designer|
|Nao Yamasaki||No||Yes||No||Field Collision|
|Naofumi Ito||No||No||Yes||Technical Animator|
|Naoki Hirai||No||No||Yes||Motion Programmer|
|Rie Tamura||No||No||Yes||Associate Producer|
|Rory Little||No||Yes||No||Character Animator|
|Rui Guerreiro||No||No||Yes||Character Artist|
|Ryoma Matsuya||No||No||Yes||Technical Animator|
|Shinya Ishikawa||No||No||Yes||Motion Programmer|
|Shotaro Omori||Yes||No||No||Character and Objects Programmer, Yorda AI Programmer|
|Shunpei Suzuki||No||Yes||Yes||Character Designer/Artist|
|Sousuke Honda||No||Yes||No||Character Animator|
|Taijurou Hachiya||Yes||No||No||Background Artist|
|Takashi Izutani||No||Yes||No||Planning & Game Script|
|Takashi Kawashima||No||Yes||No||Field Collision|
|Takeharu Tanimura||No||No||Yes||Motion Programmer|
|Takeshi Ambe||Yes||No||No||Character Animation (Ico, Yorda, the Queen)|
|Takeshi Asano||No||Yes||No||Planning & Camera Testing|
|Takeshi Nakagawa||No||Yes||Yes||System Programmer|
|Takeshi Ochiai||No||Yes||No||Field Designer|
|Takeshi Okazawa||No||Yes||Yes||Field Designer (SotC), Environment Artist (TLG)|
|Takuya Seki||Yes||Yes||No||Visual/Engine/GUI Programmer|
|Tatsuhiko Tachibe||No||Yes||No||Character Animator|
|Tatsushi Kuriyama||No||No||Yes||Environment Artist|
|Teppei Ikeda||No||Yes||No||Camera Programmer|
|Tomohisa Oda||No||No||Yes||Environment Artist|
|Tomohito Ito||No||No||Yes||Physics Programmer|
|Toshihiro Ito||Yes||Yes||No||Character/Objects/Tools Programmer|
|Toshihiro Kamei||No||No||Yes||Technical Animator|
|Tsubasa Ito||No||No||Yes||Sound Designer|
|Tsunehiko Shibata||No||No||Yes||Camera Programmer|
|Tsutomu Kouno||Yes||No||No||Game Planner, Background Artist|
|Yasuhide Kobayashi||Yes||Yes||Yes||Executive Producer (Ico, SotC), Supervisor (TLG)|
|Yasutoshi Mori||No||No||Yes||Tools Programmer|
|Yoshifusa Hayama||No||No||Yes||Executive Producer|
|Yosuke Shingai||No||No||Yes||Game Designer|
|Yuta Kimura||No||Yes||Yes||Technical Artist|
Official Art and Guidebooks
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 Book, The 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.
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.