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Hironobu Sakaguchi Joins Microsoft Game Studios and more....


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http://www.shacknews.com/ja.zz?id=9602220

 

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced that Hironobu Sakaguchi, video game legend and president of Mistwalker game studio, has joined with Microsoft® Game Studios to develop role-playing game (RPG) video games exclusively for the next- generation Xbox® video game platform. Sakaguchi is best known as the creator of the "Final Fantasy" franchise, which has sold more than 60 million units worldwide, and was executive vice president in charge of game development at Square Enix Co. Ltd. until February 2001.

 

Citing a shared vision with Microsoft for the next generation of video games, Sakaguchi will lead the creation of two upcoming Xbox-exclusive RPG titles to be published by Microsoft Game Studios.

 

"Sakaguchi-san has taken role-playing games -- traditionally a niche market -- and introduced them to a broad and diverse audience across the globe," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Publishing at Microsoft. "We are ecstatic to work with Sakaguchi-san and celebrate what this news means not only for Xbox, but for gamers worldwide."

 

"I'm excited about the two epic game titles we will be developing," Sakaguchi said. "A number of talented creators have signed on to help develop these games, and I'm confident we will be able to create games that provide gamers with a new kind of thrill.

 

"Microsoft's cutting-edge technologies in the next-generation platform will allow me to bring to life an array of ideas that I have had for many years," Sakaguchi said. "I want these games to be alive with a new vision for gaming and vividly depict new characters that will transcend the game, find a place in the hearts of gamers, and make time spent with my games a fond and long-lasting memory."

 

Sakaguchi started his career at Square Co. Ltd. in 1986 as director of planning and development. He was promoted to executive vice president in 1991 and eventually ascended to president of Square LA Inc. (now Square USA Inc.) in 1995. In 2000, Sakaguchi was inducted into the coveted Academy of Interactive Arts & Science (AIAS) Hall of Fame for his groundbreaking work on the "Final Fantasy" series. In 2004, Sakaguchi announced that he had started his own development studio, called Mistwalker.

 

Xbox is coming off a blockbuster year as the only video game console in the United States to show year-to-year growth in 2004, while competitors declined*. Driven by epic, platform-exclusive content -- including "Halo® 2" by Microsoft Game Studios, "Fable" by Microsoft Game Studios, "Ninja Gaiden" by Tecmo Ltd. and Xbox Live, the only unified online video game console service -- gamers worldwide continue to flock to Xbox for an unparalleled digital entertainment experience.

 

For those who don't know, "MorrisatCNN" is Chris Morris, who writes the Game oVer column at CNN.com.

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Glad to see they may actually take that territory seriously this time around.

 

There had been rumours for the last day or two that something next gen Xbox would be revealed today around 4pm EST, and well, I suppose there it is. I must agree that it seems like a good move from Microsoft to help improve their cries for attention in Japan.

 

Daniel

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I need to be educated.

 

I'm not familiar with Sakaguchi. The only thing the news bit tells me is that he "created" Final Fantasy. That might be impressive but considering the Final Fantasy series is ~ 18 years old that is almost meaningless. For all I know Sakaguchi only worked on the NES games.

 

To quote Janet Jackson, What has he done lately? I'm serious...I've never heard of him before and would like to be able to gauge the potential impact of this event.

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Camp,

 

Hironobu Sakaguchi was the creator of Final Fantasy and was the series director/producer all the way up to Final Fantasty VI (FFIII in the US). He also did work on the Chrono Trigger series and stayed on to "produce" (but didn't have any actual involvement in the game creation process) Final Fantasy even up until the most recent title Final Fantasy X and had some hand in the online FFXI. He also had a very big hand in the Final Fantasy film "Spirit's Within". Sakaguchi's name is almost synonymous with Final Fantasty. The impact of this report depends on the level of quality he infuses into these two exlusive RPG's to be honest, but as noted this goes a very long way in cementing some real focus on Japan for Xbox 2. In that regard, this news is very big.

 

IGN also has this summary:

 

 

Game designer and rockstar, Hironobu Sakaguchi.

 

Sakaguchi is a pivotal character in the rise of Square in general, not to mention being a formidable influence on Square's most popular RPG series, Final Fantasy. He began his career at Square Co. Ltd. in 1986 as a programmer, and successfully progressed to producer and director of the Final Fantasy series, but also worked on Chrono Trigger among others. He was responsible for the story and events of the Final Fantasy games from FFI to FFVI, after which he moved solely to direction.

 

He was promoted to executive vice president in 1991 and eventually ascended to president of Square USA Inc. in 1995. In 2000, Sakaguchi was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Science (AIAS) Hall of Fame for his work on the Final Fantasy series. He left Square soon after the disappointing Final Fantasy movie. In 2004, Sakaguchi publicly announced his own development studio, Mistwalker

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Game credit list:

 

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (2003), Nintendo

Final Fantasy X-2 (2003), Square Co., Ltd

Final Fantasy Origins (2002), Square Co., Ltd

Kingdom Hearts (2002), Square EA

Driving Emotion Type-S (2001), Square Electronic Arts L.L.C.

Final Fantasy Chronicles (2001), Square Electronic Arts L.L.C.

Final Fantasy X (2001), Square Electronic Arts L.L.C.

Bouncer, The (2000), Square Co., Ltd

Final Fantasy IX (2000), Square EA

Vagrant Story (2000), Square Enix, Ltd.

Chocobo Racing (1999), Square Co., Ltd

Chrono Cross (1999), Square Co., Ltd

Final Fantasy VIII (1999), Square Electronic Arts L.L.C.

Front Mission 3 (1999), Square Co., Ltd

Parasite Eve II (1999), Square Co., Ltd

Saga Frontier 2 (1999), Square Co., Ltd

Brave Fencer Musashi (1998), Square Co., Ltd

Bushido Blade 2 (1998), SCEI

Chocobo's Dungeon 2 (1998), Square Co., Ltd

Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring (1998), Square Co., Ltd

Parasite Eve (1998), Square Co., Ltd

Xenogears (1998), Square EA

Bushido Blade (1997), Square Co., Ltd

Einh?nder (1997), Square Co., Ltd

Final Fantasy Tactics (1997), Square Co., Ltd

Final Fantasy VII (1997), Square Co., Ltd

Bahamut Lagoon (1996), Square Co., Ltd

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996), Nintendo

Tobal No.1 (1996), Square Co., Ltd

Chrono Trigger (1995), Square Co., Ltd

Seiken Densetsu 3 (1995), Square Co., Ltd

Final Fantasy VI (1994), Square Co., Ltd

Final Fantasy V (1992), Square Co., Ltd

Final Fantasy IV (1991), Square Co., Ltd

Final Fantasy II (1988), Square Co., Ltd

Final Fantasy (1987), Square Co., Ltd

Rad Racer (1987), Nintendo

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Some more Xbox 2 news. While not as big to some as the recent MistWalker news, this is yet another step in Microsoft showing it wants to succeed in Japan as well as it's main territories. I personally am very happy to see both of these companies onboard (especially Q Entertainment).

 

Q Entertainment and Gamers Republic making exclusive Xbox 2 content

 

It's the second report down. Here is the translation:

 

Game Republic's Yoshiki Okamoto and Q Entertainment's Tetsuya Mizuguchi to create Exclusive Content for Microsoft Game Studios

 

TOKYO, Japan ? 2nd March, 2005 - In another creative coup for its next generation Xbox platform, Microsoft today announced that esteemed video game developers Yoshiki Okamoto, President & CEO of Game Republic, Inc., and Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Creator and Co-founder, Q Entertainment Inc. have aligned with Microsoft? Game Studios to develop exclusive next-generation Xbox games.

 

The announcement comes on the heels of last week's news that video game legend Hironobu Sakaguchi, president of Mistwalker game studio, has joined with Microsoft Game Studios to develop role-playing games exclusively for the next-generation Xbox platform.

 

Miziguchi is of course well known for his work on Rez, Space Channel 5 and other top Sega titles. Okamoto is a Capcom alumni and one of the main men behind the Street Fighter titles. Both companies are up and comers in Japan. Q Entertainment has two titles coming in the near future in the states. One being Lumines on the PSP and the other Meteos on the Nintendo DS.

 

Here is the story from another unknown source:

 

Game Republic's Yoshiki Okamoto and Q Entertainment's Tetsuya Mizuguchi to create Exclusive Content for Microsoft Game Studios

 

 

TOKYO, Japan ? 2nd March, 2005 - In another creative coup for its next generation Xbox platform, Microsoft today announced that esteemed video game developers Yoshiki Okamoto, President & CEO of Game Republic, Inc., and Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Creator and Co-founder, Q Entertainment Inc. have aligned with Microsoft? Game Studios to develop exclusive next-generation Xbox games. The announcement comes on the heels of last week's news that video game legend Hironobu Sakaguchi, president of Mistwalker game studio, has joined with Microsoft Game Studios to develop role-playing games exclusively for the next-generation Xbox platform.

 

For more than 20 years, Okamoto has been thrilling gamers with franchises like "Street Fighter" and "Resident Evil". Widely considered an industry pioneer, Okamoto is best known for his ability to conceive and drive completely new game genres. In July 2003, he founded Game Republic, where he and his team have next generation Xbox exclusive titles currently in development.

 

"My goal in creating these games is to make completely fresh and riveting experiences that gamers have never had before," said Okamoto. "With the next-generation Xbox platform, I can turn this vision into a reality." Mizuguchi, who founded Q Entertainment in 2003, is the creative force behind a litany of innovative blockbusters including "SEGA Rally Championship," "Rez" and "Space Channel 5". Gamers worldwide have long been attracted to Mizugchi's distinctive style that blends music and action.

 

"By combining various factors, including exciting storylines, action, graphics and music, I've created video games that have brought gamers the ultimate fun in gaming," said Mizuguchi. "Now, I hope to create games that will give gamers the most emotional and thrilling gaming experience possible - joy, thrills, sympathy and speed. The power and advanced technologies of the next-generation Xbox platform will enable winning games with powerful emotions, high-quality graphics and sound."

 

The addition of Mizuguchi and Okamoto further reveals Microsoft's strategy for attracting Japanese gamers. Perhaps more importantly, it underscores a growing preference among the world's most talented game developers for the next generation Xbox platform. Last week, the company announced that Mistwalker, a studio run by the legendary Hironobu Sakaguchi, will develop two exclusive titles for Microsoft.

 

"We are excited for Mizuguchi-san and Okamoto-san to develop next generation Xbox games unlike anything the world has ever seen," said Peter Moore, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Publishing. "Gamers will be riveted by the experiences enabled by such creators when given the proper canvas and tools."

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"Now, I hope to create games that will give gamers the most emotional and thrilling gaming experience possible - joy, thrills, sympathy and speed. The power and advanced technologies of the next-generation Xbox platform will enable winning games with powerful emotions, high-quality graphics and sound."

 

Go go, Mizuguchi.

 

That's all excellent news. Can't really say anything more then that :tu

 

Daniel

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Absolutely, though I don't doubt his ability to dream up something equally brilliant on the next gen where HD resolutions and 5.1 will allegedly be mandatory to all developers. The very thought of what he could possibly be dreaming up has me excited.... now one just has to wodner if his efforts will get any mainstream Xbox2 owners excited too in future.

 

Daniel

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Interesting that these three men announce their allegiance to Xbox 2 within the same one week period. I wonder if they have games already deep into development and Microsoft just now chose this time to make these announcements or do these announcements represent the starting point for their support of the new Xbox?

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

New interview with Sakaguchi over at Kikizo.com. You can read the whole thing here:

 

http://games.kikizo.com/features/mistwalter_sakaguchi_iv_aug05_p1.asp

 

Kikizo: Has working on a 'western console' influenced your approach to game design in any way?

 

Sakaguchi: Well of course, I want the Xbox to sell in Japan. So in a sense, I look at the Japanese audience, and I want the Japanese audience to have fun with these games. But I'm also the original creator of the Final Fantasy series, which was originally made for a Japanese audience, but turned out to be a world-wide hit - so ultimately, I'm looking at a world-wide audience.

 

Kikizo: How confident are you that these two projects could become as popular as the Final Fantasy series - not necessarily in terms of sales, but maybe critical acclaim among gamers - is there a chance of that? Is it a personal goal of yours maybe?

 

Sakaguchi: Of course I would like to see a huge number of sales. However, before talking about that, many role playing games these days that are getting so old, and there are rarely any new elements. So I would like gamers to experience fresh elements in playing these new RPGs. That is why I brought Mr Shigematsu into this project, so that he can provide new elements and when gamers play, they will experience something fresh. As entertainment creators, I really think we need to provide that. And I think once gamers find the excitement and freshness of these games, then success will follow.

 

 

They also have the interview available in video format.

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