Hajime Tabata, the director of Final Fantasy XV, infamous for being the Final Fantasy title that was in development for approximately 10 years, has left Square Enix. With him leaves the majority of the company’s plans for additional content in 2019, with an episode focused on the game’s main antagonist, Ardyn, being the only character episode that will see a release.
In a stream on Thursday, Square Enix announced the cancellation of Episodes Lunafreya, Aranea and Noctis alongside the news.
Tabata provided a statement on his resignation, which reads as follows:
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.
Before the release of Episode Ardyn, Square Enix will release a complementary anime titled Final Fantasy XV Episode Ardyn – Prologue. Other announcements include a crossover event between Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy XIV that will occur on Dec. 12, and the announcement of Final Fantasy XV’s multiplayer campaign becoming a standalone title. The game will be titled Final Fantasy XV Multiplayer: Comrades, and will release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Dec.12 in North America and Dec. 13 in Japan and Europe.
You can watch the full livestream and the trailers for Episode Ardyn, the XV and XIV collaboration event, and Final Fantasy XV Multiplayer: Comrades below. Episode Ardyn will be released in March 2019.