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Yusuke Naora is working on Final Fantasy XV, Yoshinori Kitase no longer attached to the project By Erren Van Duine on March 20, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Long-time Final Fantasy series artist Yusuke Naora joins the ever evolving behemoth that is Final Fantasy XV, according to several outlets present at last week’s Final Fantasy X|X-2 gallery event. Naora – whose resume of works includes the likes of Final Fantasy VII, VIII and X – most recently worked on Final Fantasy Type-0 and joins Hajime Tabata as yet another new face to helm the FFXV project.

Details on his specific involvement remain sparse, but it’s likely he’ll be joining art directors Tomohiro Hasegawa and Takayuki Ohtachi in some capacity.

On a separate note, it looks like Yoshinori Kitase has been officially removed from the project despite his name being originally attached to it as far back as 2008. Kitase notes that he is trying to get a new, separate project started up him himself.

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  • Himiko

    Neat. I’m more excited to hear what Kitase’s project will end up being.

  • kenny Loh

    i will looking forward to it if his partner is not Toriyama again.

  • surakian

    As long as Kitase’s new project does not have “VII” “X” or “XIII” in it, I’m good. I’d love to see something not-Final Fantasy from Kitase, actually.

  • ShinGundam

    Nice really nice liked his work in VII, VIII and Front Mission V.

  • Himiko

    Me, too. Heck, it would be nice if it’s a more personal project from him.

  • Nick Greeley

    Let’s be honest…Kitase is probably now involved with X-3

  • Kevin30

    ….No.

  • Karysonson

    Based on the FFX-2.5 Novel? yes

  • Himiko

    The FFX-2.5 novel did not have staff listings on it though nor was it a formal announcement… I don’t doubt it’s a possibility, but Kitase produces multiple projects.

  • Sigurd Simensen

    and that’s my daily 1 second heart attack from seeing a pic from a new final fantasy 15 article on the front page.

  • Krijn van Alten

    Should they really be that stupid after the LR disaster? Better put him on XVI.

  • Nick Greeley

    There’s also the audio drama, which is completely open-ended and was pretty much made just to say “there will be a sequel!”. It’s funny, because the audio drama is super confusing if you don’t know the events of 2.5

  • Karysonson

    Didnt LR do better than Bravely default last month though?

  • Aoi Tsuki

    ooooo I can’t wait to see what Kitase’s got planned 😀

  • Krijn van Alten

    I don´t know the exact month to month details, but form what I heard Is BD still above LR. But if you compare it to other final fantasies it is one of the worst selling in the series. Even Dirge of Cerberus had better sales.

  • Krijn van Alten

    XVI hopefully.

  • Aoi Tsuki

    Dirge of Cerberus was really fun, though O: I didn’t know it had low sales, that’s a bit of a disappointment… It was one of my favorite games when I was a kid

  • Himiko

    In an ideal world this would hopefully have Ito at the helm going by Hashimoto’s comments last year of him trying to get proposals going + Kitase producing, of course.

  • Slickyrider

    “Yoshinori Kitase no longer attached to the project”.

    “Yoshinori Kitase no longer attached to the project”.

    “Yoshinori Kitase no longer attached to the project”.

    …Am I reading this correctly? The man is one of the few remaining vestiges of Final Fantasy’s golden years.

    I hope he’s already contributed his fair share (which is quite probable, actually) because an FF without Kitase is hardly an FF.

  • Himiko

    He’s been on it since the beginning though and was merely co-producing it with Hashimoto who seemed to have more hand in producing the title. Kitase probably finished what he needed to do and moved on. As the head of FF, there are other titles that need to start being produced. FFXV/Versus contained a number of the KH team, as well.

  • Slickyrider

    That’s what I’m thinking. Still, it’s disturbing to see him depart, even at this stage of development, when the game is (likely) being finalized.

  • Himiko

    I agree. At the same time, I hope whatever he’s working on, he gets the right team since I’m betting on it changing. Whether it’s XVI or something new.

  • LightningFarron19

    He’s probably done working on FF15 and sees that there is no more need to be on said project since it can float on it’s own.

  • LightningFarron19

    Oh please you point fingers at Toriyama but conveniently forget that both Kitase and Nomura has created their share of crap as well.

    Let’s recall what bad products two are also responsible as well:

    Kitase: the entire FF7 compilations including Dirge of Cerberus, Advent Children, Before Crisis, etc.
    Nomura: 358/2 days, KH3D, RE:Coded, RE:Chain of Memories, Original Concept and creative producer to All the Bravest, etc.

    And both of these men worked well with 3rd Birthday as well.

    You blind yourself with one man and yet forget to criticize when there is need of it. Let’s put it this way: There is a reason why the kept with Toriyama because he has made good games and bad games just like Kitase and Nomura.

  • LightningFarron19

    Actually Lightning Returns is outselling Braverly Default 1.1 million copies to .8 million copies. Even if I were to give Braverly Default a handicap and say “Oh the Xbox 360 sales of LR don’t count”, it’s .9 million copies (LR) to .8 million copies (BD).

    Also, they confirmed that there is no X-3. Fan reaction panned the idea of such.

  • NoctX85

    Who cares about Yoshinori Kitase???? He is the reason why FFXIII trilogy is a crap…..lol so let him go 😉

  • Caliburn

    NEWS!! oh… well i guess its news, il take anything at this point.

  • Daniel Masterson

    Careful! your ignorance is showing. You are sorely mistaken on that sir, first XIII was pretty good (obviously opinion but those are my feelings on it) second the director who was Motomu Toriyama has the most control over a project as Yoshinori was just a producer. So I thought i would just clear that up for you.

  • NoctX85

    No it wasn`t good, it was a crap Sir. And ok maybe you`re right that he wasn`t alone to blame. Cuz toryama is 😉

  • Anime10121

    Kitase was the director behind VI (co-directed with Hiroyuki Ito), VII, VIII, and if I remember correctly, he also codirected X alongside Toriyama, and one other :/

    HE WAS Golden Age Final Fantasy. He’s only the Producer of the XIII series, much like Sakaguchi was just the producer of VI-X

  • Nick Greeley

    They said that about a third XIII game after the fan reaction to XIII-2’s ending.

    Basically, anytime Square says “no”, take it as denial.

  • It’s hard to blame someone for the failure or success of a Final Fantasy game without knowing exactly which contributions each one of them gave to the project. Kitase’s departure doesn’t worry me since the director is Nomura which I put lots of trust!

  • Slickyrider

    Here’s to hoping it’s something new! I would imagine that the premise of XVI is now being drafted/artwork is being created, so I wouldn’t think that they have many, if any programmers at all, working on it yet.

    Maybe he’s just shifted to helping KH III along, which has presumably been neglected in favor of XV. Still, I would love to see something new and FF-related, or a new IP.

  • Slickyrider

    If you’re going to blame anyone at all for XIII, it’s Toriyama.

    Kitase is one of the few apparently sane members of the core development team left. Nomura, while valuable and full of potential, can be rather dangerous at times.

  • MDawg77

    His work is probably done.

  • MDawg77

    He’s only good when he’s with a good director/producer.

  • HEY, I LIKED 358/2 DAYS! I RESENT THAT!

  • Anime10121

    3D was good too, and so was Coded gameplay wise (story may have been crap, but the game itself was actually fun)…

  • Himiko

    That doesn’t make much sense. Nor is it as dependent as you think/how it works.

  • kenny Loh

    Hmm… I do agreed a bit your opinion about Kitase but i think Nomura games are pretty good, he less making bad games with big budgets at least, the only bad thing about him is he don’t know how to managing his times for develop FFXV, well, actually Kitase can create SUPER GOOD games, i know his ideas sucked very hard sometimes(since removing overworld in FF games was his idea) but in my opinion i think he having more talents than Toriyama who just keep wanting to only addicted FFXIII trilogy, did you know Kitase is director of FFVII and FFVIII?

  • Lfo

    XVI needs to be made by Hiroyuki Io.

  • Krijn van Alten

    I hope so, but SE is making some strange decisions these days so I am not to sure. On the other hand, Ito made VI,IX and XII so it should be logical if he should work on XV. And since XVI was the actual XV before they renamed Versus we might be lucky this time!

  • Krijn van Alten

    I don´t understand what BD has to do with all this. Fact is that within the FF series LR is one of the worst selling games. And bad sales should be a clear sign for SE that the fans didn´t liked the game. So instead of making sequel after sequel they should move on and think about XVI and beyond. It´s okay if they want to make a compilation like VII/FNC, but its important that they think how to organise that and not messing it up after some years like FNC.

  • MDawg77

    It makes perfect sense.

    FFVI – Kitase and Ito = good game
    FFVII and VIII – Kitase and Sakaguchi = good game
    FF Type-0, CC – Kitase and Tabata = good game

    And then we have all the bad games he’s been involved in, and subsequently he had bad director.

    Final Fantasy X, X-2, XIII, XIII-2, LR – Kitase and Toriyama = bad game
    DoC – Kitase and Nakazato = bad game

    There’s not a single case where Kitase has been involved with a good director and the end product is no good, so one can only assume that he’s only good when he’s with a good director.

  • Himiko

    Ahh you’re looking at it the wrong way, but this is not something I want to get into.

  • I would think that, considering what Kitase said back in London during LR’s launch event, his role in the game is pretty much complete and that’s why he’s stepped back. Plus, he should get some much-deserved rest after all he’s done! With LR, X/X-2 and even XV on his shoulders, it’s not an easy burden to carry! He should take a year or two off so he can come back with fresh ideas, whether that means a sequel to the X series or a brand new addition to the franchise with XVI (in which it would be nice to see him collaborate with Hiroyuki Itou!). As for XV, Kitase himself said that it’s “very far into development”, so the only reason for the delays is that they knew that it would shift the focus away from their other flagship titles for the franchise, like LR, X/X-2 and XIV (that, let’s not forget is moving to the PS4!). Once all these are out the door Square-Enix will have no choice but to reveal XV to the world. And I’m thinking what better time than E3 (at which they have booked 4 booths when they don’t even have any upcoming games, so maybe even KH III will be represented). Last year we got a taste, but in a couple of months I’m positive they’ll give us a whole lot more of XV, like a release window!

  • Mihel

    XVI was the actual XV before they renamed Versus

    Source?

  • Krijn van Alten

    No, more logic. Two things: in the first place, when SE makes a new FF announcement, the game is already some years in production. FNC was already two years in production when they announced it, XIV already 3 years. So I am curtain form the fact that on this moment they are already working on XVI for some years. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that started before the versus renaming.

    Second is the fact that directors are never working on two main FF titles on the same time. Before XIV Tanaka was working on XI, before XIII Toriyama was working on X and before XII Ito was working on IX. So for XVI we are looking for a experienced director who has not much to do on the moment.

    Well, than Ito comes to mind immediately. If you look to his CV for the last years he was only working on two relatively small mobile games. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that was for the fact that he is in the same time working on a project with a larger scale, like XVI.

  • Lucky Dan

    Well of course, he’s the producer he doesn’t have real direct content over the game where as Toriyama has. Partially his fault he should of reeled in Toriyama before he went to the deep end however since Final Fantasy XIII was so large he only had limited contact and Toriyama can rigged the staff so his game could get produced the way he envisioned it.

  • Viktor Kateliev

    maybe he is starting the ff7 remake? haha, or helping out with ff12 HD? although i dont think he was on the ff12 team, other than that a headstart on ff16? in any case its good news because that means after 15 and kh3?? there can be little time between the next game

  • Twilight Odin

    It may be “crap” for you, but others like it, too.

    Opinions. Look that word up.

  • Twilight Odin

    Re:Chain of Memories was a good game.

  • Sigurd Simensen

    Battle system became too automatized because of the auto function they implemented into it, but apart from that the battles could be extremely intense and exciting. Especially in the boss battles. Story did have a good starting point, but they tried to make it more and more complicated which just left the overall impression to not be so good. The game also lacked core elements in a final fantasy game like traversing in towns, going into houses, buying new weapons etc.

  • Samsara09

    Well,people need a scapegoat to dump all their shit.Toriyama is a marvelous exemple of that.No one knows what he does precisely,as a director…but they blame him for “supposed” gameplay and story,graphics and all those things…when he is probably just a supervisor and coordinator,only an individual among a hundred of other members of the team,or more.

  • Samsara09

    The man needs some rest.He has been involved in many projects all at once.Well,if he is out,his duty here is done.That is positive,since it means we are closer to our decade long dream of having this game.Also,another VII member.This shows how much they are betting on XV.

  • Samsara09

    Finally some facts.People really need to check them before writing.

  • Samsara09

    Bravely was the 10th…LR was the 8th.The numbers are down there with miss/mister LightningFarron19

  • Samsara09

    Really?I wouldn’t be so sure of that.If they made two novels with an hook to another game.Really odd.

  • Samsara09

    obvious Bravely Default is “better” than LR.The first is an original game.The second is a sequel of a sequel.If it weren’t so,it would be quite weird.

    Also,LR is quite good for a sequel of a sequel.But please.both games belong to SE.Wishing one of them to fail and the other to be a sucess is stupid.

    ” But if you compare it to other final fantasies it is one of the worst selling in the series. Even Dirge of Cerberus had better sales.”

    That so?Did you check how much did Dirge of Cerberus sell,or are you pulling the numbers from “you-know-where”?You are also comparing a 2006 game,before the current economic crisis and the smartphone’s encroaching on the console games,with an 2013/2014 game.

  • Samsara09

    LOL,you called BD into the discussion,in order to minimize LR…then,when the facts came and your comparison got busted,you immediately clean your hands of it. Next time,be more intellectually honest.

    Also,what do I say about mixing opinion with fact…You are comparing a sequel of a sequel with the main entries in the series and other spin offs without checking how much each sold,ignored how long ago each game got released….and how the game market was back then.

  • Samsara09

    hey,when responding to those folks,don’t get down to their level.That is your personal opinion you are using as facts.Well,some of those games did suck,but others didn’t.

  • Noctis Caellum

    “world of the versus epic” can the world of ff 7 be connected somehow? maybe jenova virus’s birth by genetic engineering happens in xv?

  • Daniel Bui

    Final Fantasy X was not a bad game. It was a good game like the others. Also, Kitase did not co-direct it with Toriyama, that happened in X-2. Get your facts straight.

  • MDawg77

    Never said he co-directed it, now did I? Get your reading comprehension up to scratch before you tell me to get my facts straight. He was the producer of FFX and then three directors in specific areas, and Toriyama was one of them.

  • Michieie

    I always thought that XIII’S world and VII’s were connected somehow, even more after what we saw in LR, and since XV and XIII share mythos…

  • Michieie

    >XIII-2
    >bad

    Pick one.

  • Michieie

    I did enjoy Advent Children and KH3D. They aren’t as bad as you make them look.

  • MDawg77

    Okay; bad.

    Your turn.

  • Holy crap, I didn’t even realize he put 3D in there… WTH? the only KH game I really didn’t like was Coded only because it felt useless within the whole plot.

  • Caliburn

    nope

  • NeroAngelo

    hah, considering what he said about XIII, I can only see good things coming

    let’s just hope they don’t just act like jackasses and listen to the critics this time