Hajime Tabata is a man often credited with being responsible for finally getting the long-gestating Final Fantasy 15 over the finish line and into the hands of the public.
As it turns out, Tabata has now left Square Enix. This shock announcement comes alongside the news that the majority of Final Fantasy 15’s remaining DLC has been scrapped, as Square report an “extraordinary loss” of 3,733 million yen (just over £25 million).
Luminous Productions, Tabata’s recently formed studio, was cited in Square’s own statement explaining the recent loss, which you can read here.
Square decided to announced Tabata’s departure and the cancellation of the Final Fantasy 15 DLC as part of a special livestream, a method the company has typically used to keep fans in the loop regarding FF15’s post-game development.
Eurogamer reports that Tabata was offered the option of turning Luminous into one of Square’s regular business divisions, or spin it off as his own company (with investment from Square).
Evidently, Tabata chose neither option, deciding to leave the company altogether, while Square has gone ahead and turned the focus of Luminous to “large-scale, high-quality AAA game titles”
Tabata explained on the livestream:
In regards to my next endeavours and near future, I have a project that I truly wish to solidify as my next challenge after Final Fantasy 15. As production of Episode Ardyn continues and Luminous Productions works on new projects, I felt that it was time for me to hand over the torch to the next-generation group of talented and trustworthy colleagues and believe that they will create something amazing.
Luminous were developing the Final Fantasy 15 DLC of course, and the studio’s shift to work on a new AAA title unfortunately now means that only one of the planned four episodes will see the light of the day.
Aranea, Luna and Noctis have been scrapped, while Ardyn will release March 2019 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.