Hironobu Sakaguchi Founds New Company
07.22.04 - 1:20 AM

Final Fantasy mastermind Hironobu Sakaguchi has re-surfaced by announcing the foundation of a new company named Mist Walker. This new enterprise will focus entirely on game development, and not act as a publisher. Not so surprisingly, Mist Walker will develop RPGs and according to Sakaguchi, he already has drawn up multiple plans. While details regarding said projects are not available at this point, he mentioned that he also had his sights set on next generation hardware. Furthermore, he plans to cooperate with character designer and illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, who worked with Sakaguchi on Final Fantasy I to VI, and Takehiko Inoue, known for mangas such as Slamdunk, Vagabond and Buzzer Beater and writer Kiyoshi Shigematsu.

Following lower than expected sales of his ambitious $124 million US project Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and his resignation as vice president of Square and president of Square USA, Sakaguchi basically disappeared from the public eye. Only once did Square Enix president Youichi Wada comment on Sakaguchi's status, saying he had an exclusive contract with the company, and while not taking part in actual game development, he continued to act as an executive producer. Since then, Sakaguchi has appeared in public only twice, once during the initial presentation of Final Fantasy XII in Japan last November and again during Square Enix's pre-E3 event in Los Angeles this May. What the creation of Mist Walker means for Sakaguchi's relationship with Square Enix remains to be seen.

Chris Winkler

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