Akitoshi Kawazu (河津 秋敏 Kawazu Akitoshi?, born November 5, 1962 in the Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese game producer and game designer. He was responsible for the game design of Final Fantasy (video game) and Final Fantasy II. He is also the creator of the SaGa and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series of role-playing video games. He's now an executive producer at Square Enix and the head of the company's Production Team 2.
Kawazu studied ceramics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Kawazu was invited by a friend to work at the gaming magazine published by Softbank called "Beep". He stated that he had always been interested in board games, and after a time joined Square Co. in 1985.
He and Hironobu Sakaguchi had wanted to make a role playing game for a long time, and were fans of Wizardry and Ultima, but were concerned it would not sell. After the success in Japan of Dragon Quest, and the popular desire for an rpg proven, development began. Kawazu took over the development of the battle sequence and system, and tried to model it as much after Dungeons and Dragons as he could. Part of the development was to add western fantasy gaming rules, such as a fire monster being vulnerable to ice, which at the time were not features of Japanese gaming.
Production on The Last Remnant began after the remake of Romancing SaGa for the PlayStation 2 was completed. Kawazu was also involved in the development of "It's New Frontier" (sic). During the development of Final Fantasy XII, Yasumi Matsuno, who was the lead on the game, left half way through, and Kawazu took over.
Board games such as Avalon Hill and Dungeons and Dragons influence a lot of Kawazu's development process. When creating a new game, he examines the elements like a board game and makes that the working foundation.
- Final Fantasy – Game design
- Final Fantasy II – Game design
- The Final Fantasy Legend – Director and scenario
- Final Fantasy Legend II – Director and scenario
- Romancing SaGa – Director, scenario, system design, and battle design
- Romancing SaGa 2 – Director, scenario, and game design
- Romancing SaGa 3 – Director
- Rudra no Hihō – Director
- SaGa Frontier – Producer and director
- SaGa Frontier 2 – Producer
- Racing Lagoon – Producer
- Legend of Mana – Producer
- Hataraku Chocobo – Producer
- Wild Card – Game design
- Unlimited Saga – Producer and director
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles – Producer
- Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song – Producer and director
- Code Age Commanders: Tsugu Mono Tsuga Reru Mono – Executive producer
- Final Fantasy XII – Executive producer
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates – Executive producer
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King – Executive producer
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers – Executive producer, scenario writer
- The Last Remnant – Executive producer, scenario writer
- It's New Frontier – Design
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy – Special thanks
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy – Special thanks
- Winkler, Chris; Eve C. (2003-03-02). "Creator's Talk Interview #1: Akitoshi Kawazu". RPGFan. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
- Jeremy Parish (2012-12-01). "What's the Deal with Square Enix's Akitoshi Kawazu?". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- Doerr, Nick (June 2, 2007). "Some news on Last Remnant -- SaGa Frontier 3, almost". PS3FanBoy.com. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- Spencer (August 25, 2009). "It’s New Frontier, It’s A New Square Enix Sim Game". Siliconera.com. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- Fahey, Rob (October 31, 2006). "This Great Fantasy". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2013-02-28.