We announced yesterday that Square Enix would soon be releasing Seekers of Adoulin, the fifth expansion for MMO Final Fantasy XI, set to release sometime in 2013. Seekers, as it turns out, will also serve as a farewell letter for the game’s producer, Hiromichi Tanaka.
The announcement that Tanaka will be leaving Square Enix came during VanaFest, a special celebration in honor of Square Enix’s online game. This was the same event at which the Seekers expansion was announced earlier in the day, makin for a bitter-sweet occasion for fans of the game.
More than just stepping away from the project, Tanaka stated that he would be leaving Square Enix completely, citing health problems as his reasons.
Tanaka won’t be abandoning video games altogether, however. In an interview with Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, he stated that he would be taking this opportunity to not only look after his personal health, but also pursue his own games projects independently.
With his name included in the credits of a boatload of roleplaying games during his 30-year career with Square Enix, chances are pretty good that that is exactly where his focus will remain. Then again, maybe he’s always wanted to make a kickass cooking simulator. Time will tell.
Either way, after three decades of churning out fantastic games, he's at least earned himself a small vacation.