Star Ocean lead programmer leaves Tri-Ace

Yuichiro Kitao departs after 14 years of service.

39 Comments

Tri-Ace lead programmer Yuichiro Kitao has announced his departure from the company on Twitter (via Siliconera).

Lead programmer Yuichiro Kitao worked on the Star Ocean role-playing games.
Lead programmer Yuichiro Kitao worked on the Star Ocean role-playing games.

Kitao was known for working on the Star Ocean series and was in the company for 14 years. He was also involved with the Valkyrie Profile games and Resonance of Fate. His last day will be on May 12.

Tri-Ace worked together with Square Enix on Final Fantasy XIII-2 and with Level-5 on Little Battlers eXperience W. The last game the company worked on under its own name was Beyond the Labyrinth for the 3DS, which has yet to be localized for North American markets.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 39 comments about this story
39 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for BFKZ
BFKZ

good luck man, thanks for everything :) looking forward to your next project.

Avatar image for quicksilver_03
quicksilver_03

OMG please don't let Star Ocean end. I hope there will be another Star Ocean soon to PS4.

Avatar image for acelogan1989
acelogan1989

good luck

Avatar image for tcf457073
tcf457073

He joining Compileheart confirmed to be working on Fairy Fencer F.

Avatar image for bigbadmamajama1
bigbadmamajama1

Star Ocean a game that would of sold more if they would have only added ps3 trophies

Avatar image for zhaoyun99
zhaoyun99

@bigbadmamajama1 You knew that the whole trophies was originated from Star Ocean 3 back in the PS2 when they proposed their Battle Trophies first. MS and Sony copied that idea to create Achievement and Trophies. Even in SO4 when Achievement and Trophies are popular, SO4 decided to say FU and had their own trophies system.

Avatar image for Darkefka
Darkefka

@bigbadmamajama1 they did... it had since launch lawl...

Avatar image for Darkefka
Darkefka

No!!! Tri-Ace was one of the best gaming companies IMO, they weren't grredy bastards like SE now, or EA or Capcom or many others, and theyre games were great... Star Ocean is one of the best video game series I know... you will be missed...

Avatar image for ishsgames
ishsgames

NNNOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! RRROOOOOAAARRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats my reaction after dying to the chapter 5 boss for the 50th time in the End of Eternity :). This is certainly sad news for me, Tri Ace have always surprised me, except for Infinite Undiscovery and maybe a few other titles.

Avatar image for Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

@ishsgames That game did have some weird spikes in difficulty, didn't it? It was a nice change from swords and sorcery, though.

Avatar image for HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

...

Avatar image for elancion
elancion

noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Avatar image for eric_neo3
eric_neo3

I guess he finally had enough of working on fail fantasy instead of good games like he used to.

Avatar image for dragonkantus
dragonkantus

Where is Valkyrie Profile 3?

Avatar image for leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@dragonkantus i believe SE still owns the ip... im still playing VP2.... awesome game.

Avatar image for Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

@dragonkantus Covenant of the Plume, I guess?

Avatar image for leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@Yomigaeru i dont believe that was ever localized stateside. sad face. and what with nintendo and their non-universal play crap....

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

So uh...what has Tri-Ace done lately? Collaborated with other companies? Made games that didn't even get localized?

What happened to this company? Where is Valkyrie Profile 3?

Avatar image for KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

another shot in the leg for a possibility of another star ocean jrpg. great over work over the years mr kitao, you will be missed.

Avatar image for JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Well, some great games there and non of them filled with bugs, so I'd say it's a shame for the company to lose him, hopefully they can get someone with the same talent to replace him... If they actually plan to make anymore games that is, hope they aren't going tits up.

Avatar image for Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

@JimmeyBurrows Actually, Star Ocean 4 had some nasty freezing issues with the postgame content. Had to avoid using one of my favorite chcaracters altogether (Arumat) to lessen the chance of it happening.

Avatar image for Justforvisit
Justforvisit

Quite some time for somebody in a company these days and Star Ocean III is a really great RPG till up to date.

Well, too bad he couldn't stay with the company till the end of time :P

Anyways, best of luck on his future ways

Avatar image for Darkefka
Darkefka

@Justforvisit I see what you did there ;)

Avatar image for bahamutdragons
bahamutdragons

I'm very sad that I clicked this article, and even sadder that I'm commenting on it. This may yet one of the biggest non-news I've seen. As a programmer myself, I'm not sure why people should care in any capacity that a non-creative, non public figure of the company is leaving of his own volition, without any signs of drama or trouble.

Avatar image for jakesnakeel
jakesnakeel

@bahamutdragons I don't really disagree with you on the news value, but if you are a programmer and you consider the position 'non-creative', then you are just a different type of programmer. Game programmers are the back bone of creativity in game development, IMO.

Avatar image for franzito
franzito

@bahamutdragons Then... why on earth?

Avatar image for franzito
franzito

Valkyrie Profile = just classic

Avatar image for dragonkantus
dragonkantus

@franzito love that game it is a shame we never heard of it anymore....

Avatar image for King9999
King9999

Anyone who worked on the Star Ocean & Valkyrie Profile games gets my respect. Resonance of Fate was great too. Sounds like a big loss.

Avatar image for Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

@King9999 Honestly, I think the games were better in general when the two companies (Square and Enix) were separate entities. That said, I did enjoy Resonance of Fate and Star Ocean this gen (would have been nice for Valkyrie Profile to have a console game as well).

Avatar image for telaros
telaros

If I had worked on those last two games with Square and Level 5, I'd a left the gaming scene too :(


I'm just happy he finished the Star Ocean series. Star Ocean Second Story was what got me super hooked on playstation. That was the most epic and grand rpg I've played that had some an involved and over the top combat system for its time. Much evolved over the snes game!

Avatar image for Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

@telaros I agree somewhat, but Danball Senki W was pretty awesome. It's probably the best "collect 'em all" type game that I've played in a while. Lots of voice overs, a real time combat system, and a decent story that wasn't just throwaway filler.

Star Ocean 2 was definitely my favorite of the series, and it goes without saying that Valkyrie Profile was awesome.

Avatar image for SeAzhrei
SeAzhrei

Agreed, all around! Though I actually felt Second Story was a bit *too* grand. I just never had the free time to play it through more than once!

And of course, Valkyrie Profile is one of the greatest games of all time!

Avatar image for megamatics
megamatics

So he was behind Star Ocean 4 and how terrible it was ?...Well I can't contribute all the foibles to him. He was only programming the game and wasn't involved with the Crap Story, Crap Dialogue, and Crap Gameplay. If he was the Lead Programmer to Star Ocean 3...He will be missed.

Avatar image for Darkefka
Darkefka

@megamatics Lol.. SO4 is one of the best JRPG on PS3... not for the story but for the gameplay, that isn't crappy at all lol, one of the best I saw...

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@megamatics To be fair, he previously had said he always wanted Star Ocean to end at 3. They basically forced him to make 4, and it shows.

Avatar image for LesserAngel
LesserAngel

Resonance of Fate was pretty fun, actually. Some hits and misses in his career, about average I'd say.

Avatar image for OridanIX
OridanIX

OH NO, NOT THE TRI-ACE LEAD PROGRAMMER!!

Atcually, I'm not terribly upset by this development.

Avatar image for leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@OridanIX your final parting words... well make sure to leave that on your tombstone.