Producer/Designer Hiromichi Tanaka, well known for his work on Final Fantasy 1, II, III, and IV, as well as Xenogears and Chrono Cross, will unfortunately be leaving Square Enix soon.
He was also the producer for Final Fantasy XI, and you could say it was because of him that Final Fantasy XI was recently named the most profitable Final Fantasy of all time. According to Square president Yoichi Wada, if you added up all the time all the players have spent on Final Fantasy XI, you get over 200,000 years played. This was revealed at VanaFest 2012, an event held to commemorate Final Fantasy XI’s ten year anniversary. VanaFest was, unfortunately, also where Tanaka broke the sad news that he would be leaving Square Enix.
Tanaka is leaving the company due to health reasons of some sort. According to a recent Famitsu interview, Tanaka suffers from a major illness, and leaving the company may simply be the best way for him to deal with it. He has also said that he has a desire to work as a “single creator” on future projects, something that many longtime developers have said when leaving their AAA companies. Might we see Tanaka eventually make his way to the mobile space as we have seen so many others do?
By Angelo M. D'Argenio