|"Success is unexpected and gradual, progressive, and refined. Recently, I've realized that's how I want things to be."|
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|
Hironobu Sakaguchi (坂口 博信 Sakaguchi Hironobu) (born November 25, 1962) is a Japanese game designer, game director, game producer, and former film director. He is world famous as the creator of the Final Fantasy series, and has had a long career in gaming with over 100 million units of video games sold worldwide. He left Square Enix and founded a studio called Mistwalker in 2004.
On leaving the university, Sakaguchi became a part-time employee of Square, a newly formed branch of Denyūsha Electric Company founded by Masafumi Miyamoto. When Square became an independent company in 1986, he became a full-time employee as the Director of Planning and Development. Sakaguchi then decided to create a role-playing video game which he named Final Fantasy as a result of his personal situation; had the game not sold well, he would have quit the games industry and gone back to university. The game was released in Japan for the Famicom on December 18, 1987, and was successful across Japan. Under Sakaguchi's watchful eye, Final Fantasy developed into a successful franchise, spanning from stand alone stories to spin-offs to direct sequels. In 1991, following the release of Final Fantasy IV for the Super Famicom, he was honored with the position of Executive Vice President. The last Final Fantasy game he directed was Final Fantasy V, becoming the producer for future installments of the franchise. In 1995, he became President at Square USA, Inc. His final role as game producer was for Final Fantasy IX. In an interview at the time he described it as his favorite Final Fantasy. He later went on to serve more as an executive producer of the series, as well as many of Square's other games, including Vagrant Story, Parasite Eve and Kingdom Hearts. The Kingdom Hearts series would later go on to feature a character named Master Eraqus, who was designed to physically resemble Sakaguchi and match with Disney's Yen Sid.
Hironobu Sakaguchi became the third person inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame on April 5, 2000.
Time as film directorEdit
A long time proponent of bringing together the story-telling vehicle of film and the interactive elements of games, Sakaguchi took the leap from games to film when he made his debut as film director in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, an animated motion picture based on his world-famous Final Fantasy series. Despite some positive reviews, the movie was the biggest animated box office bomg in cinema history, losing over 120 million dollars.
Resignation from SquareEdit
Sakaguchi voluntarily stepped down from his post as an executive vice president at Square. This event also reduced Square's financial capital. Square later merged with its rival, the Enix Corporation, which led to the creation of Square Enix in 2003. In 2004, Sakaguchi founded Mistwalker with the financial backing of Microsoft Game Studios.
Sakaguchi founded Mistwalker, which began operation in 2004. In February 2005, it was announced that Mistwalker would be working with Microsoft Game Studios to create two role-playing video games for the Xbox 360. Still, the company remains independent from console exclusivity. Sakaguchi released the works Blue Dragon in 2006, and Lost Odyssey in 2007 on the Xbox 360, and ASH: Archaic Sealed Heat on the Nintendo DS. He was developing an action-RPG, titled Cry On, until the project was canceled in December 2008.
On The Last Story Sakaguchi commented: "I'm betting a lot on this project." This game was announced in January 2010 to be The Last Story, a co-production with Nintendo for the Wii. It was revealed in an interview on Nintendo's website that Sakaguchi is the director of The Last Story, which marks his first time as director of a game since Final Fantasy V.
In July 2010, Sakaguchi was briefly believed to have announced on Mistwalker's blog that The Last Story may be the final title of his career. However, this turned out to be a translation error; he had actually meant he was working on The Last Story as if it was his last game.
Hironobu Sakaguchi has been credited, in some capacity, with the following games.
- Hironobu Sakaguchi's Profile on Mistwalker's official website