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Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata leaves Square Enix

Tabata's departure coincides with a shift in strategy for his internal studio, Luminous Productions

Hajime Tabata has left Square Enix to start a new company and pursue his own project.

Tabata, who directed the hit Final Fantasy XV, revealed his plans today, as part of an official Square Enix livestream. His departure coincides with a change in strategy for Luminous Productions, the internal studio he started in March this year.

Square Enix said that Luminous would be shifting toward "large-scale, high-quality AAA game titles, which best leverage [Luminous'] strengths." The studio had been working on DLC content for Final Fantasy XV, but three of a planned four new episodes have been cancelled.

"In regards to my next endeavors and near future, I have a project that I truly wish to solidify as my next challenge after FFXV," Tabata said on the stream, as quoted by The Verge. "For that reason, I have decided to leave my current position and start my own business in order to achieve my goal.

"As production of Episode Ardyn continues and Luminous Productions works on new projects, I felt that it was time for me to hand over the torch to the next-generation group of talented and trustworthy colleagues and believe that they will create something amazing."

Tabata officially left his role on October 31. He revealed no details of his next project.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.