Final Fantasy XI producer leaves Square Enix

Square Enix veteran Hiromichi Tanaka is leaving the company due to health reasons.

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During the Final Fantasy XI-themed Vana Fest event held in Japan over the weekend of June 23, in Yokohama, Japan, Final Fantasy XI producer Hiromichi Tanaka announced that he will be leaving Square Enix.

FFXI producer Hiromichi Tanaka parting ways with the company. (image credit: Famitsu)

According to a Famitsu article detailing the event, the main reason for Tanaka's departure from the publisher is personal health issues. Tanaka said that he has to cope with a major illness, which he wishes not to specify, that had led to his final decision to leave the company. He also stated that he will be returning to the Japanese game development scene as a solo creator.

His replacement is Akihiko Matsui, who is known as the battle designer for Final Fantasy XIV. Tanaka was a veteran in the company, having joined in 1983. He was one of the developers responsible for the creation of Final Fantasy I, II, and III. He also took the helm as a producer and battle designer for Xenogears and Chrono Cross.

In related news, the Vana Fest 2012 event highlighted the announcement of a new Final Fantasy XI expansion called Seekers of Adoulin. Apart from new map areas and quests, the expansion will be introducing two new classes: the geomancer and rune fencers. The expansion will be out in 2013.

Discussion

71 comments
toyo75
toyo75

Wishing him the best and a speedy health recovery. Thank you for the great games you have given us. 

If only we had a real elixir and a ribbon relic to instantly cure all his status ailments.

Dark_Arcitekt
Dark_Arcitekt

I hope he remains well and is not to ill.He did a lot for XI.More than enough to have me playing off and on for many many years.Hats off to him and may he fair well in his endeavors.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Sounds to me like it wasnt voluntary. He was forced out. FF sucks, and they need a complete revamp of the series.

zazzaro
zazzaro

I would like to tip my cap to Mr. Tanaka as Final Fantasy XI was my first MMO experience and got me into the genre. I would strategize all day at work (God Bless America) on the freaking prommys and how to make sure no one missed a portal screwing the whole mission, and then how to beat the boss. Great times.

decoy1978
decoy1978

 @Mimicry 

Well said! I had such high hopes for FFXIV and now I probably will never play another FF MMO. Never again... the wound is still too fresh!

Sniperwire
Sniperwire

Anyone else think his "major illness" is SE firing him? Considering he compeltely failed FFXIV, and he was burning what is left of FFXI(a game used to love to the ground). Maybe with him gone both FFXI and FF!4's futures look bright :)

Mimicry
Mimicry

This just in folks - making shitty games can be hazardous to your health. 

greeklegend
greeklegend

XI IS AND WAS ONE OF THE BEST MMORPG out there. GET AT ME

 

zzamaro
zzamaro

Don't know about medicine stuff but I hope he gets well.

LIQUID-X-SKULL
LIQUID-X-SKULL

I hope he gets well soon, and Square Enix should really consider going back to classic JRPGs like FFV-X. I feel like its been westernly influenced, which isn't bad, but they should loose that signature feel in their games.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Hopefully he will overcome his health issues and return to duty. Speedy recovery and good health.

brollyandvegeta
brollyandvegeta

Tanaka ..

 

It's Dangerous To Go Alone !

 

Take These .

 

( Potion x 5 )

( Phoenix Down x 1 )

 

FinalDuo1886
FinalDuo1886

I didn't much care for XI, because it was strictly party base, and making currency in that game was bitch, but it 9-10 change after all these years now. 

 

I don't much have respect for the company anymore, but I do have a heart, and I hope he gets well soon.

Ravenlock_2112
Ravenlock_2112

Well, FF VII was the first I played and it got me hooked in 5 mins. I played every single one, xcept for the online ones and the crappy mess that was FF XIII (60 hours of play b4 the game drags you in, yeah right), after that and loved em all. Hope you get well soon and make more JRPG's that I can waste hundreds of hours of my life on. 

GunnyHath
GunnyHath

It doesn't make sense to leave a company which would clearly let you take a leave of absence after having that much seniority and pull.  He isn't ill enough to leave the industry if he's coming back as a solo developer.  Best wishes, regardless.

dark_surge
dark_surge

Best of luck and a quick recovery to Hiromichi.

Vickman178
Vickman178

I wonder if all that radiation in Japan has had its effects on people. They don't report it on the news but the nuclear plant that blew up is still leaking radiation.

 

Theres been reports of birth defects and kids getting nose bleeds from sores caused by the radiation and stuff like that...Also radiation found in the tap water in Tokyo. Hell there has been reports that small amounts of radiation from that plant was found in the milk of cows in Germany.

 

Get well soon Hiromichi San, hopefully its not the radiation getting you sick!

gix47
gix47

here's to hoping Mr. Hiromichi Tanaka gets well

Justforvisit
Justforvisit

As much as I hate what FF has turned into, since it isn't the matter of the topic here, get well Mr. Hiromichi Tanaka.

Cryptic_Shadow
Cryptic_Shadow

Despite the fact that many say the FF franchise has taken a turn for the worst, this is really sad news. 

 

Get well soon, sir.  Good Luck.

Ovirew
Ovirew

I wonder if FFXI will ever go free-to-play.  I would be interested in devoting more time to it and checking out these new expansions.

Geertwillers
Geertwillers

I don't care about this guy. The guy that is responsible for the trainwreck that is FF13, now that's the guy who I want to see get kicked out.

BoSnerdly
BoSnerdly

I played FFXI daily for almost 7 years, and it's without a doubt the greatest game I've played in 30+ years of gaming. I wish I was still playing it today!

Tauu
Tauu

 @decoy1978 FFXIV 2.0 is probably overhyped but, I'm holding out a little hope for a miracle. FFXI was pure greatness back in it's heyday.

Mimicry
Mimicry

 @Sniperwire There aren't enough light bulbs in the world to make FFXIV's future look bright.

Zerabp
Zerabp

 @LIQUID-X-SKULL They Will never get that feeling back because two of the men that gave the games that feeling more than any one else (Uematsu and Sakaguchi) left Square a long time ago...

tachsniper
tachsniper

 @LIQUID-X-SKULL Actually alot of flak thrown at japanese game companies is that they have failed to westernize enough and are really behind the times. it's not the 90's anymore, you have to evolve to the market.

tachsniper
tachsniper

 @FinalDuo1886 yea I quit FFXI after standing there looking for a group for literally 2 1/2 hours. At that point my gaming time could be spent on something fun instead of just standing there.

d_generate_x
d_generate_x

 @GunnyHath The Japanese have a reputation to overwork their employees. Just look at what Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono had to say about being overworked in this interview:

 

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-06-11-the-rise-and-collapse-of-yoshinori-ono

 

I don't think they would "clearly let you take a leave of absence" as you suggest. It's not well seen for them.

It's not surprising that a veteran like Hiromichi Tanaka would want to work under a less stressful environment in light of Japanese culture.

tachsniper
tachsniper

 @Vickman178 well the human body can take a pretty good dose of radiation and still be able to fully heal itself. While i don't disagree they may be some I don't think unless you live right next to the plant that it would be that harmful.

dark_surge
dark_surge

 @Vickman178 It wouldn't surprise me.  The world governments raised the "safe" levels of radiation instead of letting everybody know that there are much, much higher levels in the air then before.  Not to mention that the American and Canadian governments have stopped testing the air or fish for radiation.  

 

Sounds crazy, but there were dozens of articles on the net reporting this earlier this year.

tigertaru
tigertaru

 @Justforvisit Agreed.  I wish the best for Tanaka-san.  Regardless of FF's many recent failures, He's part of the team that made FF so epic.  he deserves more than enough respect and honor for that. 

Ovirew
Ovirew

 @Geertwillers Was he responsible for 13?  Idk, that's why I'm asking.  It says he's had a very long history with the company and that he was responsible for much of FF11, but they don't mention 13 in this article.

tigertaru
tigertaru

 @BoSnerdly as frustrating as FFXI is at times, it certainly was unique and arguably my favorite MMO ever.  I had finally forced myself off the addiction and unbearable withdrawal, but the words "new expansion with two new classes" are giving me the FF itch again :).

Sniperwire
Sniperwire

 @Mimicry I'm not so sure.I'm liking what i'm hearing about it. and  a lot of people were impressed at E3 with version 2.0 and are excited to see the relaunch.

LIQUID-X-SKULL
LIQUID-X-SKULL

 @tachsniper adding on to @mack10 , I think the game market is very accepting for hardcore Japanese games. Don't get me wrong, I love western games (including western RPG) and I do not want them to be influenced by Japanese games. I think Japanese games should stick to being Japanese games, to keep their fans cheering, and western games to do the same. I just think that the "in-betweens" are not as successful.

mack10
mack10

@tachsniper @LIQUID-X-SKULL I disagree. I think westernizing to an extent is good but the western world isnt the only one that exists and our tastes arent global. I agree with liquid skull, SE needs to go back to its roots and go from there.

tachsniper
tachsniper

 @d_generate_x Yes the Japanese work ethic would drive most of us Americans insane. they have a drive to them that is both amazing and sometimes self destructive.

tigertaru
tigertaru

 @Ovirew  @Geertwillers I think he meant that he doesn't care if Tanaka-san is leaving Square, he wants whoever at Square that's responsible for 13 to leave, and I wholeheartedly agree. 

LIQUID-X-SKULL
LIQUID-X-SKULL

 @leimonides  @mack10  Well, @leimonides  said it perfectly. Japanese games have their own unique taste to them. Western games also have one, but those two tastes are mutually exclusive. Its not a matter of which is better. Its a matter of keeping both unique tastes and not messing one of them up by forcing it to taste like the other.

leimonides
leimonides

@mack10 I agree with you tremendously on the westernizing aspect. The west is not the center of the world and is not the best thing out there. Variety is the spice of life; Japanese games have an aspect to them that gives them a particular "taste" that you can't get from western games. Sad to see that go away with this "need to be western in everything" idea.

tigertaru
tigertaru

 @Ovirew No, they should get canned for 13,13-2, and 14 as well lol.  I know there are a few gamers that will testify that 13 is the greatest rpg ever but many long term FF fans have a huge sense of disappointment over the last several games (I've played since the 1st and I agree that I feel that way).  Many feel that it's been going downhill since 10 (I however had a huge addiction to 11 and actually liked 12).  It's no mistake that Square is having its share of problems which even they acknowledge.  I'm just hopeful that they at least get close to as good as they used to be, because many long term fans lived and died by FF releases and now many (like me) aren't even remotely motivated to buy anything Square anymore. 

Ovirew
Ovirew

 @tigertaru Ah, I misread, my mistake.  I wasn't too big on FF13 either, but I don't think anyone should really get canned for it.