Hironobu Sakaguchi

Developer Biography

Hironobu Sakaguchi (坂口 博信) was born in November 1962. He participated in the founding of Square in 1983 as a subsidiary of Denyuusha Software after he and Hiromichi Tanaka dropped out of University together.

Square's games were not very successful at the time, so with the remaining money available, he decided to make his final game and retire from the industry, or so he planned. This final game was called Final Fantasy, which sold a lot better than anyone (including himself) anticipated. His plans for retirement were placed on hold and he continued to make sequels to Final Fantasy, which is now the fourth top selling series of games with over 75 million copies sold.

Promoted to Executive Vice President in 1991. Since joining Square Co., Ltd., he has headed the Development Division. Appointed President of Square LA, Inc. (now Square USA, Inc.) in 1995 with the establishment of a research and development base for U.S. operations.

He has long spoken of his desire to create "a brand-new form of entertainment uniting interactive games and motion pictures;" something demanding the wide-ranging, flexible and imaginative creativity going beyond the bounds of both conventional interactive games and motion pictures. Final Fantasy is a major step towards that dream.

In May 2000, Sakaguchi was honored at the Third Annual Interactive Achievement Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Hosted by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, he received the prestigious Hall of Fame Award given to those who have made the most enduring, groundbreaking, and seminal contributions to the world of interactive entertainment and information.

In 2001, he was in charge of making a movie based on the Final Fantasy series of games. Although the critics received it well, the movie was a big bomb in the box office, losing over $120 Million US dollars. This put Square in a difficult position financially, leading to the board of directors to force Sakaguchi out of the company, and Square merged with their rivals, Enix, so that Square can keep developing their high budgeted games. This formed the Square Enix company.

After this, Sakaguchi formed his own company, Mistwalker, which basically writes scenario's and designs games, and outsources coding and graphics to another company.

Contributed by Unicorn Lynx (181375) on Apr 29, 2003. [revised by : Scott G (794) and Unicorn Lynx (181375)].