Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata departs Square Enix and Luminous Productions By Wazi the pa on November 7, 2018 at 11:52 PM

Hajime Tabata has announced via Final Fantasy XV’s special livestream event that he has departed from Square Enix and Luminous Productions as of October 31. Tabata was the game director for Final Fantasy XV, and was also COO and head of studio at Luminous Productions.

Read Tabata’s full statement below:

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.

—Hajime Tabata

Tabata first joined Square Enix back in 1999, first being assigned as event director to work on Monster Rancher 2. He’s known popularly for his directorial work on titles such as Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy Type-0 and of course, Final Fantasy XV.

  • I don’t mind. Every game he’s done had massive plot holes. Type-0, 3rd Birthday, XV.
    He seems to be okay with leaving way too much up in the air or flat out un-explained.

  • •december

    Who’s continuing development for Episode Ardyn then? LMAO
    This announcement was wild.

  • •december

    Nomura flopped Versus 13,

    Naoki Yoshida flopped FF14

    and for over a decade now Square Enix has had no solid foundation.
    The common factor isn’t the directors its whoever is running Square Enix

  • Randy Marsh

    Naoki Yoshida didn’t flop FFXIV, he saved FFXIV. You’re thinking of Nobuaki Komoto and Hiromichi Tanaka, they did the original FFXIV that flopped so hard on its butt it had to be rebuilt.

  • Justice V

    All the episodes have been directed by people other than Tabata (or at least Ep Ignis was if not the other two as well).

  • Justice V

    That’s too bad, I enjoyed most of his work. CC still goes down as one of my favorite titles.

  • SNK

    He directed the gameplay part of The 3rd Birthday. Motomu Toriyama directed the story part. It’s unfaie to blame on Tabata.

  • Wazi the pa

    The work you did and the achievements you’ve collected are insurmountable.

    Tabata, I wish you all the best for the road ahead.

  • Noctis Leonhart Strife

    Congratulations, Mr. Tabata. You did the best you could. We know how much the company and the fans pressured him. It’s not an easy job. FF fans are one of the most toxic communities in the gaming universe. It’s not for anyone. You come out victorious and head high. Success in your next projects.

  • •december

    I was thinking this ‘brand director’ Ofuji might have been the current director

  • Ryuke

    Yoshida is widely regarded as the savior of FF14. He’s pretty much loved by the 14 community and I think he’d do a great job if he worked on a mainline single player FF entry. Although then we’d lose him from 14… so maybe not!

  • Ryuke

    This is a good thing. He can go and produce whatever type of games he loves and wants to make without being tied to the messy project that was FFXV. He inherited a mess, released something barely passable with a convoluted DLC and additional media plan, and was stuck to it as long as SE wanted to keep it going.

    He must be relieved! Best of luck for the future Tabata!

  • stevenm281

    the ones talking during the stream once they got to the Episode Ardyn part were the new producer and director for it. I don’t remember their names, just rewatch the stream, their names on written on the cards in front of them.

  • Noctis

    tsss, why you didn`t leave the project sooner, we wouldn`t have this mess today

  • GoldenTriforce

    Square Enix flopped 13, Nomura had to deal with their messy business decisions relating to their engine.

  • NewestType

    Jesus, daddy and the spook! Won’t miss him.

  • NewestType


  • NewestType

    I thought you meant the assassins crud outfit when you said that. He only made 4ish games… and while designing those, a huge team is behind him. Didn’t know so many people love the 3rd Birf day and ff XIII again to

  • NewestType

    Excuse me!? That excuse only works when tabata says it. The hate for Nomura is rising. I actually think most people on this site are idiotic in how they judge him do heavily. But at least kh 3 actually seems relative to the franchise.

  • NewestType

    Except in Nomura case. He is a cuck.

  • I didn’t know. My bad.
    But he is responsible for XV and Type-0.

  • IDK maybe a new cat got hired and she/he was up for being on the project. I think XV is dead in my eyes. There’s nothing they can do this late in the life of the game to make it a fully development story. Even with all the retcon.

  • looks like they finally got rid of the trash over at square

    good riddance to bad rubbish says I, hahaha!

  • shh, do not give them ideas, the big wigs at Square might just do that

  • Miqote

    Good riddance. Now he can finally be the director of some cash grab android game like he was destined to be.

  • Patrick Bateman

    You ever see the Destiny Forums? lol Gamers in general are pretty toxic.

  • •december

    Thank you GoldenTriforce, people getting what I’m saying finally. Square Enix is to blame, but commenters here only read what they want to read

  • Noctis

    same thought!

  • Noctis

    Wow I posted this 2 years agon a post from some mercielss dude

    Seems like something true about this? Mabye?

    Actually, not only is Hajime Tabata the only person in company history
    to release an unfinished FF, but made Nomura, Ferrari and others I won’t
    mention hate him for assuring the story will “stay absolutely
    untouched, I respect your vision fully” — lying, and forcing key team
    member to cut entire areas, sequences, and gameplay that took over a
    year to make, all cut at the last second. The truth is XV (which was
    still Versus at heart) was killed by Tabata
    after the final delay at the huge FFXV unveiling, because he could not
    deal with the amount of story help he needed to fit the scenes together
    to make the story work without the guidance of Nomura, myself, and
    someone else. He KILLED THE GAME OUT OF SPITE. And now he is quietly
    facing the consequences, being only allowed to “fix FFXV, no matter how
    long it takes” with Type-1 CANCELED, and being removed from ANY FURTHER
    FF games. You do not believe this, but he is hated by some of the
    highest people in the whole company because of what he did to Versus at
    the last minute OUT OF SPITE and WORRY OF FAILING. SOON, he WILL be
    exposed, and everyone WILL CHANGE THEIR TUNE. (This i already known in
    Square. Idiots who praise Tabata are only failing for press statements
    trying spin a disaster in a positive light.) Don’t worry, when it is
    safe to speak without reprisal, I, along with other HUGE names, will all
    launch in synchronicity, and it will be the biggest scandal since
    Kojima. Possibly bigger. Even Jose (Joe) and others know the truth of
    what is about to happen.You think Stella was the only important
    BLOWN. SHE WAS NOTHING compared to what was cut by him, and while they
    answer once and for all, do you know why “Omen” looks so chopped up and
    weird? It was many different crucial story scenes all cut together to
    look like one movie, especially when Versatile activates the Crystal
    Jammer and cuts Noctis off from his power when he attempts to invade a
    very important Magitek research facility to save a character you DON’T
    EVEN KNOW ABOUT. There is so much you will learn soon.