Hiromichi Tanaka, producer for Japanese video game developer Square Enix, announced retirement as Senior Vice President of Software Development on Sunday. Tanaka made the announcement at the "A Decade of Final Fantasy XI Vana Fest 2012" event held at the Pacifico Yokohama convention center in Kanagawa Prefecture.
The 50-year-old explained that he was diagnosed with a serious disease that affects his physical condition. Although he is leaving Square Enix, Tanaka said that he wants to return to game development as a single creator.
As the event drew to a close, Tanaka announced that Akihiko Matsui will take over as producer for the Final Fantasy XI online role-playing game. Matsui worked with Tanaka to develop Final Fantasy XIV and other Final Fantasy titles. Matsui will first focus on the updated relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV before he concentrates on the continued development of Final Fantasy XI.
Tanaka dropped out of Yokohama National University in 1983 and joined the game developer Square as part of its original planning and development team. He designed the original battle system for the Final Fantasy game, which Square released in 1987. Tanaka also produced games such as Xenogears, Threads of Fate, and Chrono Cross.