Today, Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy XI Director Mizuki Ito has stepped down from his position and left the project.
As of April 1st, Associate Director Yoji Fujito has taken over.
You can see the full statement from Ito, Fujito, and Matsui below or click here.
On Friday, April 1, 2016, Yoji Fujito will be taking Mizuki Ito’s place as Director of FINAL FANTASY XI. Mr. Ito oversaw the creation of many different varieties of content during his stint as director.
Mizuki Ito, Yoji Fujito, and Akihiko Matsui would like to say a few words to our dedicated player base.
I will be stepping down as Director of FINAL FANTASY XI at the end of March and leaving the project.
My work with the project started more than fifteen years ago, with the last five seeing me serve as director. At the start I could scarcely tell left from right, but always poured my heart and soul into the project, helping to shape it into the wonderful experience it is today.
Just as Rhapsodies of Vana’diel was one of the hallmark moments in FINAL FANTASY XI’s storied 14-year history, FINAL FANTASY XI is one of the hallmark moments of my career. Leaving the project was something that I have discussed thoroughly with Producer Matsui.
Character dialogue, Vana’diel March, and many other in-game experiences have helped me to grow as a person. The wonderful experiences Vana’diel has given me will always be close to my heart, and I would like to watch over FINAL FANTASY XI as one of its biggest fans. I would like to thank each of you again for these past fourteen years.
Please treat the new director, Yoji Fujito, as kindly as you have me.
Up until this point I have been involved in system and non-battle content, as well as team operational support, and now have been chosen to be director of the project.
I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders as I take the reins of one of FINAL FANTASY’s numbered titles as its fourteenth anniversary is nigh. Although part of me wonders if I can handle it, I vow to give my all to meet the expectations that you have for the world of Vana’diel.
I hope you will be by my side during this exciting journey!
A fine day to you all, dearest adventurers of Vana’diel!
Last year we were able to bring you the thrilling conclusion to Rhapsodies of Vana’diel, the ultimate scenario of FINAL FANTASY XI.
Mr. Ito served in the frontlines as we brought you this content, successfully seeing it to its conclusion, and will now be stepping down as director to join a different project.
His role in deciding the direction of FINAL FANTASY XI cannot be understated, and he has left gigantic shoes to fill, but I am confident that he will be a tremendous asset to his next project.
Yoji Fujito, formerly associate director for FINAL FANTASY XI, will be stepping in as director. His love for FINAL FANTASY XI is just as strong as Mr. Ito’s, and I have the utmost confidence in his abilities.
With minor version updates coming each month, FINAL FANTASY XI will continue to be a place for adventurers of all stripes to gather and enjoy both the content and spending time with each other, and Mr. Fujito, myself, and the rest of the team will ensure that your time here is well-spent.
I hope that you will continue to give FINAL FANTASY XI your heartfelt support.