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Yoshinori Kitase Explains Why He Didn’t Leave Square Enix After Final Fantasy Creator Hironobu Sakaguchi Departed

Final Fantasy VII Director Yoshinori Kitase has revealed during an appearance on My Perfect Console the reasons for him deciding to stick around at Square Enix (then just known as Square) following the departure of Hironobu Sakaguchi, his mentor and creator of the venerable RPG series.

One of the reasons Kitase-san gave is that he wanted to offer Sakaguchi a ‘connection’ to Final Fantasy should he ever opt to return down the line, something which did come in handy with 2016’s mobile title Mobius Final Fantasy.

Around that time, around the year 2000, that was when we were planning many Final Fantasy mainline titles ahead: 10, 11, 12 and so on. These were all currently being planned and in discussion. And with Sakaguchi-san being this mentor, someone I had worked alongside and grown with from within the company, of course it was a very sombre time for me to experience his leaving.

While Sakaguchi-san, I believe, was this creator who had established this history for himself, and had worked on these various projects throughout his legacy and time here, I was still feeling as though I was still forming my vision, and still working towards that, so that was one of the reasons I felt like staying.

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I felt that I truly wanted Sakaguchi-san to have this point of connection with the Final Fantasy series despite his departure, so that was another consideration. Of course, once he went independent there wasn’t a connection back to Final Fantasy until 2016 with Mobius Final Fantasy, which was the smartphone game. That was the first time since Sakaguchi-san had left that he was able to promote and be connected to the Final Fantasy franchise again, with Terra Battle.

Kitase is still heavily involved in the Final Fantasy series, having worked on the Final Fantasy VII Remake project, having served as producer on both FFVII Remake and the upcoming FFVII Rebirth. Kitase was named the new brand manager for the Final Fantasy franchise back in May 2021.

[Source – My Perfect Console via VGC]