Friday, June 5, 2009

Gaming Icon of the month: Hironobu Sakaguchi

Gaming icon of the Month:
Hironobu Sakaguchi

Our Gaming icon of the month is the great Hironobu Sakaguchi (坂口 博信 Sakaguchi Hironobu), creator of the famed Final Fantasy series by Square-Enix (previously Squaresoft).

Sakaguchi was born in Hitachi, Ibaraki, Japan. He went on to study electrical engineering after graduating high school, but dropped out mid-course in 1983.

After leaving the university, he became a part-time employee of Square, which was then just a newly formed branch of Denyusha Electric Company. When Square became an indepentdent company, he became a full time employee. Unfortunately, in the beginning the games that were produced by Square were unsuccessful. Sakaguchi then decided to create his final work in the game industry, with Square's remaining funds, and named it Final Fantasy. The game was released on December 1987 and became successful across Japan. This was the beginning of the great Final Fantasy franchise that gamers have known and loved until today.

After the success of the first Final Fantasy, more games were produced under Sakaguchi's supervision. In 1991, he was given the position of Executive Vice President. By 1995, he became President at Square USA, Inc.

In 2003, Sakaguchi resigned from Square -- which reduced Square's financial capital, and led to the merging of Square and Enix Corporation, which led to the creation of Square Enix. He then founded Mistwalker -- a game development studio, with the financial support of Microsoft Game Studios.

Here are some of the games that Sakaguchi has been credited with:
  • Final Fantasy Series (From the first until FF X-2; Tactics; Tactics Advance)
  • Parasite Eve (1 and 2)
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Xenogears
  • Chocobo's Dungeon 2
  • Kingdom Hearts
I am still amazed at how the origin of Final Fantasy was -- it was something that literally saved Square from its downfall, and right now it is the biggest franchise that Square-Enix has up to date. I think that Sakaguchi has been a great contributor to the gaming industry because of what he has started. I don't think that any final notes to Final Fantasy will be coming soon.


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