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.
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.