Final Fantasy Tactics character designer Akihiki Yoshida has revealed that he's leaving Square Enix. The announcement wasn't in a press release or on Square Enix' website; instead, it was a small statement in "The Art of Bravely," an art book for Square Enix's 3DS RPG Bravely Default. Here's part of the statement, translated by Siliconera:
This is a personal message of mine, but I’d like to say thank you for all the support these past 18 years. I have decided to leave Square Enix, but I believe our relationship will continue going on.
And as long as I’m needed, I will continue working on the Bravely Default series. Thank you for your continued support.
Bravely Default main character designer & lead artist, Akihiko Yoshida
Now you may be wondering why I went with "Final Fantasy Tactics character designer" for the headline, instead of "Bravely Default character designer," or "Vagrant Story character designer," or "Final Fantasy XIV character designer." I chose Final Fantasy Tactics because it was the game Yoshida's been involved with that's the most important to me. I had never played a Tactics game prior to FFT, but the game made me a lifelong Tactics-style RPG fan. Even if Square Enix has left the Tactics series by the wayside, there's still a bit of hope within me that they'll revisit the brand one day.
Despite that, you can look over Yoshida's body of work and see a ton of amazing games that's he's contributed to. Over the course of his 18-year career, Yoshida has worked on Ogre Battle, Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, Final Fantasy XIV, and Bravely Default. He's also confirmed as working on the Bravely Default sequel, Bravely Second. I look forward to wherever he lands, though my personal hope is he re-teams with Ogre Battle, Tactics Ogre, and Final Fantasy Tactics director Yasumi Matsuno. We all can dream, right?