Final Fantasy creator says he will never return to the series

Final Fantasy creator says he will never return to the series Hironobu Sakaguchi at the premiere of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within in 2001 / (Kevin Winter, Getty Images)

Hironobu Sakaguchi, the man who created the world renowned Final Fantasy series, has said he will never return to the franchise in a professional capacity.

Sakaguchi started working at Square in 1983, a full two decades before its merger with Enix, and the first Final Fantasy game was released in 1987.

He then directed Final Fantasy II through to and including Final Fantasy V before acting as producer for the company's first game on the PlayStation, the iconic Final Fantasy VII, which came out in 1997.

Sakaguchi also worked heavily on the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within which released in 2001 but bombed at the box office and stunted Square's merger with Enix.

That deal eventually went through in 2003, the same year Sakaguchi left with his final credited role being on Final Fantasy X-2.

His relationship with his former employer is reported to have got frosty towards the end and it stayed that way for a number of years - over time, that relationship healed.

But Sakaguchi said in an interview with Bloomberg he would never return to Final Fantasy in a professional capacity because he's now "more of a consumer than a creator" of the franchise.

"I felt if I kept too close of a relationship [when he left], then it might actually affect how Square Enix treats Final Fantasy," he said.

"On a rare occasion now - I want to stress 'rare occasion' - sometimes one of the Mistwalker team members will hop on Final Fantasy XIV,and I’ll see a message saying 'hey, the meeting's started'.

"If I take on the Final Fantasy brand again, I don't know if I'll be able to genuinely enjoy Final Fantasy XIV as much."

Sakaguchi started his own independent studio in 2004 called Mistwalker and that's where he continues to work to this day.

For the first time in 20 years, Sakaguchi, now 61, is working with Square Enix again as the two are working on a new version of Fantasian.

Mistwalker is developing the title with Square Enix set to publish it.

Sakaguchi said: "It was almost like going to a 20-year high-school reunion.

"Certainly 23 years changes a lot of things and memories we have over time perhaps become more beautiful. The things we don't like, or perhaps were bitter memories, slowly fade and take a backseat.

"I was a little bit concerned about how people would feel about working with me - perhaps they'll have mixed feelings. It was actually quite a warm welcome."

Fantasian Neo Dimension is out on consoles and PC this Winter.

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