Final Fantasy 14 is currently celebrating the upcoming Endwalker expansion through a series of announcements during its Digital Fan Fest. During the second day of opening ceremonies, Final Fantasy 14 director and producer Naoki Yoshida announced that Shinji Hashimoto would step down as Final Fantasy Brand Manager, replaced by Yoshinori Kitase.
Hashimoto joined Square Enix back in its early days, during the company’s days as Squaresoft. He’s held a long list of job titles at the publisher, including stints as producer, executive producer, and head of Square Enix’s Business Division 3. Hashimoto first became the brand manager for the Final Fantasy series over a decade ago. Some of his game credits include work on Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and The World Ends With You.
After Yoshida pulled Hashimoto on stage, he thanked Final Fantasy 14 players for their support over the years. Originally, he had hoped to tour the world with the MMO team as he departed the role, but COVID-19 prevented that this year. You can check out Yoshida and Hashimoto’s conversation during the opening ceremony in the Fan Fest archive below.
Kitase officially took over the role back in April. He also sports a long resume with Square Enix, directing mainline Final Fantasy titles like Final Fantasy 6, 7, 8, and 10. He also directed Chrono Trigger, and served as co-producer on Kingdom Hearts. Kitase was not at the event to comment, and is currently involved in Final Fantasy VII’s Remake and spin-offs in producer and executive producer roles.
Final Fantasy 14’s festivities continued after Kitase’s recognition ceremony, and Square Enix went on to reveal upcoming details for the next part of patch 5.5. During the first day of Fan Fest, the company confirmed that the Endwalker expansion for the MMO would launch on November 23, and players that pre-order will have early access beginning November 19. If you missed out on the event, you can check out our summary of details covering everything Yoshida and his team announced on day one of Fan Fest.
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