Tetsuya Nomura, director of the Kingdom Hearts series has stepped down as director of Final Fantasy XV, the title that has been in development since 2006 by the team who developed both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda has released a statement that confirms Nomura will be focusing his efforts on Kingdom Hearts III. You can read this below thanks to Square Enix.
“As the director of FINAL FANTASY XV, Tetsuya Nomura has mainly worked on the original concept for the story and universe in addition to creating the characters. Hereafter, he will be focusing his efforts on the production of titles that can only be made possible by Nomura, himself, and delivering products that exceed the quality of past titles, starting with another one of his representative projects, Kingdom Hearts III. Square Enix will continue to work on these titles with the best staff formation in an effort to deliver them to everyone as soon as possible and appreciates your continued support.”
Update 2: Tetsuya Nomura has answered why he stepped down as director of Final Fantasy XV in the latest issue of Famitsu Weekly. Thanks to sqexgal for the translation, you can read it below.
"It was the company's decision, I can't say more than that."
Update: Square Enix Europe have provided some extra insight about Nomura's change within these two projects, and this can be read below.
If that wasn’t enough news, I’ve got a little something else to share with you. Now I know you guys want us at Square Enix to be more open with you and to keep you updated with all the goings on with our games so I’m going to talk to you a little more about Final Fantasy XV since I’m sure you guys are just as excited about it as I am (which is VERY excited).
The development of Final Fantasy XV is coming along really well and as a result Hajime Tabata (the director of the original Final Fantasy Type-0 and Type-0 HD) has taken over from Tetsuya Nomura as the director of Final Fantasy XV.
Now before you start to freak out, let me explain how this is a good thing. There’s no denying that Tetsuya Nomura has been instrumental to the development of Final Fantasy XV and he’s done an incredible job. His main role as director was working on the original concept for the story and universe and also creating the characters. Now that development of Final Fantasy XV has come so far, Nomura’s work is pretty much all in place so instead of having him keep an eye on the more day to day stuff, we thought it’d be a better idea to pass the reigns over to Hajime Tabata and let Nomura move onto other projects and make games that only he could do, you know, like Kingdom Hearts III.
So now we have Hajime Tabata and the rest of his team working as hard as they can on Final Fantasy XV and making sure it’s the best game it can possibly be and we have Tetsuya Nomura and the Kingdom Hearts III team working as hard as they can to make that the best game that can be. It also means that both games will come out much sooner this way. Instead of waiting until Final Fantasy XV comes out before starting on Kingdom Hearts III, Tetsuya Nomura can now properly begin work on Kingdom Hearts III right now and with Tabata in the director’s chair, Final Fantasy XV won’t suffer either.
Hajime Tabata and his team are a bunch of really talented people and Final Fantasy XV is in good hands for the rest of its development but even if you don’t want to believe me, you can find out for yourself on 20th March 2015 when you can play Final Fantasy XV for yourself along with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD.
If you’ve got any other questions or comments then feel free to drop me a line in the comments below. I’m out and about at TGS 2014 and with the time zone difference I probably won’t be able to respond right away or until I’m back in the UK but I promise I will get back to you!
I hope you’ll agree though, it’s a very exciting time to be a Final Fantasy (and Kingdom Hearts) fan right now!