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FFXI Producer Hiromichi Tanaka Discusses Square Enix Departure

Tanaka leaving due in part to health reasons.

Tanaka announces his departure at Vana Festa 2012. (Photo from Famitsu.com.)

This year's Vana Fest 2012 event started on a high note with the announcement of the Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin expansion. It ended on a low note with the announcement that Hiromichi Tanaka would not only be stepping down as FFXI's producer, but leaving Square Enix as well.

Tanaka was one of the earliest members of then Square, and did design work on the first few Final Fantasy games before moving on to a producer role on some of the company's most beloved franchises, including Xenogears and Chrono Cross.

So what caused him to leave the company with which he's been employed since 1983? Famitsu.com found out during a mini interview with Tanaka that it conducted during day two of the Vana Fest event today.

It appears that a major contributor to Tanaka's decision was his health. While not going into specifics, he says that he has a major illness, and consideration of his health lead to the decision.

This wasn't the only reason, though. He also said that he asked to resign because he wants to return to the game development scene as a single creator.

Famitsu unfortunately did not ask Tanaka if this latter comment means that he will continue with the game's development.

Tanaka also had some kind words for Akihiko Matsui, his replacement as FFXI's producer. Matsui was selected because Tanaka beleives he's the only one he could do the job. Although Matsui is busy with his work on Final Fantasy XIV, Tanaka wanted to see him return to FFXI at some point.

Matsui will be working on both FFXIV and FFXI. According to Tanaka, Matsui will be working hard on Final Fantasy XIV's upcoming Version 2.0 update, and will then put his efforts into building up FFXI.

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