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Final Fantasy composer leaves Square Enix

Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu has announced that he's to part company with publisher Square Enix, and is planning to set up his own independent music studio where he will continue to work on music for games.

Uematsu is best known for his work on the Final Fantasy series of games, including creating the series' famous theme music, although he has gradually been involving other artists in the role of series composer - sharing duties on Final Fantasy X with several others, and writing only one track for the forthcoming Final Fantasy XII.

"The word 'quitting' has a kind of negative sound to it, so perhaps a better word would be 'graduating'," he explained to fans in a newsletter this week, ably translated by Gamespot. "I'll continue to work with my old school, writing music for games, doing concerts and making more Black Mages albums."

Uematsu performed his first concert outside Japan in Los Angeles last may, and is currently working on a second album under the Black Mages heading - a synth rock band which performs live mixes of Final Fantasy music.

"I'll be working even harder than before - with the overseas market also in mind - for the future of those projects," he concluded, " so thank you for your support."

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.