Shinji Hashimoto has retired from Square Enix after almost 30 years at the company.
Having joined Squaresoft (as it was known)in 1995, Hashimoto later became the brand manager for the Final Fantasy series and co-creator of Kingdom Hearts.
He shared a message of his retirement on his Twitter, as well as a video message on the Square Enix account where he explained his love for meeting fans at events, something he’s sadly been unable to do due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, he will endeavour to meet fans at future events and plans to continue playing video games – especially Square Enix titles, of course.
“Now, I’ll be leaving the company in high spirits,” he said. “But I will continue to be around and involved in entertainment, so please be assured. To everyone around the world, I hope you will continue to support Square Enix titles.”
Shinji Hashimoto retires from Square Enix today and we’re very lucky to have received a video message from him.
— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) May 31, 2022
Anecdotally, Hashimoto conceived of the idea for Kingdom Hearts when he chatted with a Disney exec in an lift when Squaresoft and Disney shared an office in Tokyo.
Tributes and thanks have been shared for Hashimoto, including some adorable artwork from Final Fantasy artist Toshiyuki Itahana.