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Hajime Tabata: "I want to change the way things are made"

Final Fantasy XV developer intends to keep new JP Games team small, streamline development process

Hajime Tabata is still close-lipped about what he's up to with his new studio, JP Games, but whatever his next project is, it doesn't sound small.

In a summary of comments from the interview published by Gamestalk (via Google Translate), Tabata first addressed his departure from Square Enix, expressing regret that the game's DLC had to be discontinued. He clarified that his departure had nothing to do with a quarrel with Square Enix, but rather said, "I want to do what I want to do in the direction in which I want to go without annoying anyone to the company."

Next, Tabata discussed his new studio, JP Games. Tabata said he intends to keep the team small for now, though he does intend to hire for a few new roles. For now, JP Games has not received any outside investment.

Tabata also indicated that whatever he was making next would be on a large-scale and would be akin to a AAA property, and that he wanted to make a game for consoles, PCs, and smartphones.

Finally, Tabata talked about improving the way games were made in the first place in order to streamline his own process (with clearer translation courtesy of Siliconera)

"While working on Final Fantasy XV, I had a strong desire to change the way it was being developed," Tabata said. "During the busy season, there's an increase in work and a shortage of workers. When that happens, for example, we would get a boost in numbers from a studio somewhere in Vietnam or Malaysia and develop, but it was difficult to flexibly scale up like that. I also had to prepare high-spec PCs, create all the security policies, and so on.

"That part was rough, so I want to change the way things are made, something cloud-based. So before making a game, I'd like to evolve the way they're made first."

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.