Chief Technology Officer and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Technical Director Yoshihisa Hashimoto has left Square Enix, the company confirmed to Game Watch today. The exact date of his departure is unknown, though it is said he left for “personal reasons.”
Hashimoto signed on at Square Enix back in 2009 after he left Sega, having previously worked on Sonic Team’s Hedgehog Engine and taking up the director’s role for Sonic Unleashed. From there he helped launch Square Enix’s next generation game engine under the Luminous Studio, which was first revealed to the public alongside the Final Fantasy tech demo “Agni’s Philosophy” at E3 2012. He also assisted with the re-launch of Final Fantasy XIV by spearheading a brand new custom engine, helping the team create a MMO scalable for both console and a variety of PCs.
Hashimoto’s replacement is said to be Remi Driancourt, a senior R&D engineer from Square Enix’s technology department who has been with the Luminous team for some time now. According to the article Luminous Engine is still being used for the development of Final Fantasy XV and work continues despite Hashimoto’s departure. It remains, however, unknown if the engine is yet complete.
Several mobile Final Fantasy titles found on the Android Google Play will be going on sale within the next few weeks, Square Enix has announced. Starting today, both Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV will be available for $7.99 each through July 30th. Then, starting from July 31st through August 6th, Final Fantasy V will be discounted with Final Fantasy IV: The After Years and Final Fantasy VI to follow from August 7th through August 18th.
More details and pricing on the latter three titles will be announced at a later date, so stay tuned.
Confirming an earlier online leak, Square Enix has officially revealed a Limited Edition upgrade bonus for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX for both North America and Europe. Fans simply need to pre-order the game at its normal price through select retailers – Amazon, for example – and they will be eligible to receive an exclusive Sora and Mickey-themed pin.
Additionally, they’ve included a screenshot batch for the remastered version of Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. This title is only included in the collection as a set of cutscenes, with additional scenes added from the DS release including battle scenes and new voiced content. As a follow-up yo last year’s Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, 2.5 contains fully remastered versions of both Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix and Birth by Sleep Final Mix, as well as HD cinematic cutscenes from the DS title Kingdom Hearts Re:coded.
The game will be out on PlayStation 3 for North America on December 2nd and December 4th for Europe. A Japanese release is scheduled for October 2nd.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX will be getting the Limited Edition treatment according to a new listing that has shown up on Square Enix’s official North American online store – complete with pricing and details.
According to the site, those that pre-order the game will be eligible for a free upgrade at the normal price of $39.99 which will come packaged with a Disney collectible pin featuring Sora and Mickey Mouse in a case featuring brand-new Tetsuya Nomura-drawn artwork. The game itself will cover Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix and redone cutscenes from Kingdom Hearts Re:coded all rolled into one disc for the PS3.
Square Enix has yet to make this announcement official, but with Comic-Con around the corner, we expect to hear from them soon. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX is due out in North America on December 2nd.
Square Enix is prepping another contest for fans this week involving the upcoming Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call due out in a couple months. As part of its on-going “Legacy of Music” campaign, showcasing the franchise’s deep musical history, fans will be able to participate in their own musical experience by creating and uploading a music video of themselves perming the main theme, Final Fantasy.
The contest begins on August 5th and will run through August 24th. Interested entrants will need to simply record themselves playing the song for one minute and thirty seconds and should include some sort of sign signifying their favorite FF game. A how-two video with a sample submission created by Destructoid Editor-in-Chief Dale North has been provided for inspiration:
Each entry will be judged by famed FF composer Nobuo Uematsu and one Grand Prize winner will receive the following:
- Complimentary trip for two to attend an upcoming Distant Worlds: Final Fantasy concert
- All of the official soundtracks for the numbered Final Fantasy titles
- One Final Fantasy Static Arts Mini Figure
- Signed Collector’s Edition of the game
- Signed Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call Limited Edition Japanese Nintendo 3DS system
Runners-up will also be decided and will be eligible for such prizes as soundtracks for the various Final Fantasy titles, signed Collector’s Editions of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call and Final Fantasy Static Arts Figures.
Additionally, Square Enix has uploaded the next volume of its Legacy of Music campaign, featuring the music from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII – including Crisis Core, Final Fantasy VII and Advent Children.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call is due out in North America on September 16th and in Europe on December 19th. More details on the music contest can be found over on the official website.
Square Enix’s mdRadio – covering all things Square Enix merchandise, hosted by manager Hidemi Matsuzuka – will be returning soon and further details are expected to drop some time this week. The next episode of this Japanese-only podcast, which in the past informed fans on the mysterious status of Final Fantasy Versus XIII ahead of E3 last year, is back again after a lengthy hiatus. Tetsuya Nomura as well as Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and FFVII G-Bike Producer Ichiro Hazama are anticipated as guest speakers based on a photo of both pictured posted online not too long ago of the three having a meeting.
On the first episode of mdRadio, Nomura revealed that the situation surrounding Final Fantasy Versus XIII was “very delicate” within the company. “We’ve been quiet for a year now, but the date is already set for our next reveal and we are steadily working toward preparing information for that. Last year we failed to announce anything about the game – to be honest I talked about sharing new information but wasn’t able to and I want to apologize for that.” Several weeks later, the game was re-revealed at E3 as Final Fantasy XV and the wait – despite claims to the contrary – has begun anew.
A tweet specifically from Matsuzuka confirms he hopes to share more details soon. Keep in mind that Nomura will also be making his way to San Diego Comic-Con later this week as well, so it’s quite possible we’ll hear more on that endeavor as well.