Longtime Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase is now the brand manager of the entire franchise following previous position holder Shinji Hashimoto’s stepping down.
The shake up was announced at the digital Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest over the weekend, when Hashimoto joined the stage and was introduced as a “former brand manager.” While he may no longer be the brand manager of Final Fantasy, he will still be part of Square-Enix’s board of directors. Hashimoto’s segment begins at about the 27:40 mark:
Following the presentation, Hashimoto took to his personal Twitter to address the public on his stepping down from the position.
“Thank you everyone for the many, many warm messages regarding my personnel update!
I would have loved to have made my greetings to everyone around the world in-person, but unfortunately was not able to do so given the pandemic. So I’d like to apologize that I had to share this update via a livestream, instead of in-person with you all!
From now on, I’d love to continue to support all the teams from behind the scenes, and would humbly ask for your continued support. Though I have passed on the baton as the Final Fantasy brand manager, I am going to continue to do my best at Square Enix.”
Hi everyone! pic.twitter.com/voP8Zf2Nch
— shinji hashimoto (@shinjihashimot3) May 17, 2021
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Kitase has been working at Square-Enix since 1990, where he’s acted as developer until his first director’s credit on Final Fantasy VI in 1994, followed by a co-director credit on Chrono Trigger the next year. He went on to work as a director and producer on several Final Fantasy games like Final Fantasy VII, the Final Fantasy X duology, and the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy.