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Hajime Tabata has officially left Square Enix and Luminous Productions

Hajime Tabata has officially left Square Enix and Luminous Productions

Written by Brayden — 08 Nov 2018

In shocking news, Hajime Tabata has officially left Square Enix and Luminous Productions.

Tabata did not explain why he was leaving the company other than that he is viewing his next project as his next challenge after going all in on Final Fantasy XV.

Tabata joined Square Enix in 2004 and first directed the mobile game, Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. He then would direct Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- after it was decided to instead do a new game rather than remake Before Crisis for the PlayStation Portable.

Tabata also co-directed the mobile game, Kingdom Hearts coded.

Tabata then found himself very busy directing both The 3rd Birthday and Final Fantasy Type-0 (originally Final Fantasy Agito XIII). They both started off as mobile games before turning into PSP games.

Tabata and the Type-0 team then began work on a sequel to Final Fantasy Type-0 before then Square Enix president Yoichi Wada placed them on Final Fantasy Versus XIII which was about to become Final Fantasy XV. This was due to all the development issues the game had experienced.

Tabata served as co-director for about a year and a half before original director Tetsuya Nomura was completely removed from the project by the company following over 7 years of development. Tabata then served as director and also at this time became the head of Square Enix's Business Division 2.

Before the release of Final Fantasy XV, Tabata produced the mobile spin-off Final Fantasy Agito for iOS and Android. It was also announced for release on PlayStation Vita and Windows 10 before it was shut down and replaced by Final Fantasy Type-0 Online aka Awakening.

He also produced and directed Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC which saw the game finally released outside of Japan.

From there it was all Final Fantasy XV. He produced the tie in film, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV and released the long in development game.

Final Fantasy XV was well received and broke sales records. For over a year following its release it was supported by the release of various DLCs including story episodes and updates that added new features to the game. It would also make its way to PC while being re-released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition.

Tabata served as producer on the various Final Fantasy XV DLCs and the VR game, Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV as well as the mobile adaption Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition.

Earlier this year he founded Luminous Productions where Business Division 2 would move into. While working on the remaining Final Fantasy XV content, Tabata continually teased the studio's next project as a big new IP for next gen platforms.

The studio was originally going to be involved in various types of projects, even assisting in the production of a TV series documentary earlier this year but just recently Square Enix decided to shift the studio's focus solely to AAA games.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD also included a look at the possible sequel to the game and while Tabata showed a lot of interest upon release of pursing it he had since moved away from it as they focused on their new IP.

Tabata also said he wanted to remake Before Crisis for the Nintendo 3DS back in 2010 but nothing ever materialized.

While following the release of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD he was asked about the possibility of HD remasters for his other PSP games: Crisis Core and The 3rd Birthday. Tabata said he had no interest as they had already been released worldwide so there was less reason to do so and said if they ever did revisit them it would be as remakes rather than remasters.

Tabata was also a member of the Final Fantasy Committee with Yoshinori Kitase, Motomu Toriyama and Naoki Yoshida.

Tabata's departure has also led to the cancellation of various Final Fantasy XV content. It's currently unknown who will lead Luminous Productions now and what will happen to their new IP which was speculated to be a evolution of their series of tech demos including Agni's Philosophy and Witch.

You can read his message below. Farewell Tabata.

Hello, this is Tabata.

It’s almost going to be two whole years since the release of Final Fantasy XV. I honestly believe the reason we were able to get this far is because of all you loyal fans. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Today, I have a personal announcement to make to all of you. I, Hajime Tabata, will be resigning from Luminous Productions and the Square Enix Group as of October 31, 2018.

I was able to gain so much experience with my time at Square Enix. Every title I was able to be a part of means a lot to me. However, Final Fantasy XV stood out from that group as it was a special project for me which I went all-in on.

Therefore, I decided to take this opportunity to officially announce my departure from Final Fantasy XV to all the fans who have supported the title across the globe.

In regards to my next endeavors and near future, I have a project that I truly wish to solidify as my next challenge after Final Fantasy XV. For that reason, I have decided to leave my current position and start my own business in order to achieve my goal.

As production of “Episode Ardyn” continues and Luminous Productions works on new projects, I felt that it was time for me to hand over the torch to the next generation group of talented and trustworthy colleagues and believe that they will create something amazing.

From this day on, I will cheer on and support Square Enix and Luminous Productions together with all of you fans.

I would like to thank everyone who continue to support Final Fantasy XV and those who have also supported myself personally.

—Hajime Tabata