Final Fantasy series game developer Hiromichi Tanaka has just stepped down from his position at Square Enix and resigned from the company. He announced this news at Vana Festa 2012, which was a 10 year anniversary celebration of the release of Final Fantasy XI right after he announced the new expansion pack for the game, Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin. Final Fantasy XI is reportedly the most profitable game in the series and among the most venerable games in the series despite mixed reviews.
In an interview with Famitsu, Tanaka revealed that his reasoning for stepping down was due to 2 factors. Primarily, he says he has become quite ill, which has adversely effected him physically. Secondly, he also says he wants to go back to designing games as an independent designer. With those factors, he has resigned from Square Enix after a long and illustrious 28 year career. He was among the first 3 employees at Square back in 1984, alongside his friend and fellow student, Hironobu Sakaguchi.
In his place, taking over his primary project is fellow designer and also a Square veteran, Akihiko Matsui. Tanaka explicitly indicated that Matsui is the best person to replace him and knows he will be busy with Final Fantasy XIV. He also expressed his wishes to see Matsui continue work on Final Fantasy XI later down the road. Matsui has also worked with Tanaka in the past on classic Square RPGs such as Final Fantasy II.
Here is the trailer for FINAL FANTASY XI: Seekers of Adoulin shown at VanaFest 2012:
On a personal note, we’d like to wish the best of luck with his health and we also look forward to see what games he may create in the future.