After retiring from Square Enix at the end of July, former FINAL FANTASY XI/FINALFANTASY XIV Producer Hiromichi Tanaka has joined up with GungHo Online Entertainment as a freelance adviser.
In an interview with Famitsu, Tanaka says “The trigger for me thinking about leaving was getting removed from the FINAL FANTASY XIV project.” He also told the magazine “I helped mold FINAL FANTASY XI into one of the best MMO formats on the market, and I wanted to respect the wishes of the team as much as possible when they wanted to make something different for FFXIV, so I tried my best not to meddle too much with development. In the end they weren’t able to realize what they were aiming for, which is a shame, but I wish them the best of luck with the reboot.”
While the trigger for Tanaka leaving Square Enix may have been his removal on FFXIV, when he announced his retirement at VanaFest 2012 earlier this year his main reason was because of his health. When speaking with Famitsu he noted “I’m going along fine now… It’s not the sort of thing that can be completely cured and I’m going to have to deal with it for awhile to come, but I’m visiting the hospital every week and it’s not a particularly big problem.”
GungHo is a Japanese publisher involved with a variety of MMOs and other titles. You may know them as the Japenese provider for Ragnarok Online. Apart from providing development advice for the company, Hiromichi Tanaka also told Famitsu that he has an idea for a project. “Right now I’m in the midst of putting it all together. Assuming it goes well, I’m hoping that i can make it into a GungHo project. It’s an online game, but it won’t be an MMORPG this time. Unlike ten years ago, smartphones and tablets are perfectly usable game platforms and in addition to that, gamers are spending less time playing each individual game. Instead of just trying to get money out of users [via microtransactions], I want to provide convincing gameplay which provides an experience that’s actually worth paying for.