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Final Fantasy’s veteran brand manager Shinji Hashimoto has announced his retirement from the role.
Speaking during a virtual Fan Festival this weekend, Hashimoto announced that his successor would be Final Fantasy VI, VII and VIII director Yoshinori Kitase.
Hashimoto has long overseen the business and marketing aspects of the Square Enix RPG series, as well as serving as an executive officer and head of the company’s business division 3.
Hashimoto joined Square Enix in 1995 and served as a producer or exec producer on virtually every Final Fantasy instalment since 1997’s Final Fantasy VII.
Writing on Twitter, Hashimoto thanked fans for their messages of support and apologised for not being able to share the news during a live audience event, due to coronavirus restrictions.
“From now on, I’d love to continue to support all the teams from behind the scenes, and would humbly ask for your continued support,” he wrote.
“Though I have passed on the baton as the Final Fantasy brand manager, I am going to continue to do my best at Square Enix.”
Another senior Final Fantasy creative, FFXIV director Naoki Yoshida, praised the outgoing brand manager for his backing and influence in getting the 2010 MMO off the ground.
“I was put in charge of FFXIV at a very difficult time in the early stages of the game, when I myself had never been involved in the FF franchise before, and I think there was a lot of confusion within the company,” he said.
“However, Mr. Hashimoto introduced me to various people and backed me up behind the scenes. FFXIV is what it is today because of the support we received back then… Thank you for the FF series so far, but please continue to support us in the future.”
Square Enix officially announced the new Final Fantasy instalment during a PS5 showcase in September. While no release timing was confirmed, the reveal featured almost four minutes of footage from various aspects of the title, suggesting it was significantly into development.