Storied director and producer Yoshinori Kitase has taken over the role of Brand Manager for the Final Fantasy franchise.
As part of the Final Fantasy XIV Digital Fan Festival, previous Brand Manager Shinji Hashimoto was called on stage by the game’s director Naoki Yoshida, who spoke of Hashimoto’s history and positions within Square Enix. During this time, Yoshida noted that Kitase was now taking on the position once held by Hashimoto.
Kitase has been involved with Final Fantasy since 1991, starting his career as a designer and scenario writer on Final Fantasy Adventure. He directed various entries in the franchise, including the groundbreaking title Final Fantasy VII. In addition, Kitase has served as a producer on a number of Square Enix’s games, such as Kingdom Hearts, Dissidia: Final Fantasy, The 3rd Birthday, and Final Fantasy VII Remake.
His predecessor Hashimoto is no less prestigious within Square Enix, having joined the earlier Squaresoft in 1995. Hashimoto is credited as producer on dozens of Square’s titles and is said to have conceived of the idea for the Kingdom Hearts games during an encounter with a Disney executive. While no longer holding the title of Brand Manager, Hashimoto remains an Executive Officer at Square Enix, as well as the General Manager of their Media & Arts Business Division and an Executive Director.