Kawazu at the Final Fantasy XII London HMV Launch Party in 2007
|Occupation||Video game designer, producer|
Akitoshi Kawazu (河津 秋敏, Kawazu Akitoshi, born November 5, 1962) is a Japanese game producer and game designer. He is best known for his work on Final Fantasy and SaGa franchise of role-playing video games. He was the majority shareholder for The Game Designers Studio, a shell corporation founded in June 1999 by Square and re-purposed in 2002 to exploit a loophole with the company's exclusivity deal to develop for Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation consoles.
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 & 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 – Supervisor
- 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 XII: Revenant Wings – Executive producer
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King – Executive producer
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord – 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
- Emperors SaGa – Executive Producer
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call – Special thanks
- Imperial SaGa – Executive Producer
- Dissidia Final Fantasy – Special thanks
- Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV – Special thanks
- SaGa: Scarlet Grace – Game designer and scenario writer
- Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age – Special thanks
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- "IGN - Sony buys stake in Square". IGN.com. Archived from the original on 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
- Jeremy Parish (2012-12-01). "What's the Deal with Square Enix's Akitoshi Kawazu?". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2015-04-06. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- Doerr, Nick (June 2, 2007). "Some news on Last Remnant -- SaGa Frontier 3, almost". PS3FanBoy.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- Spencer (August 25, 2009). "It's New Frontier, It's A New Square Enix Sim Game". Siliconera.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- Fahey, Rob (October 31, 2006). "This Great Fantasy". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on January 25, 2009. Retrieved 2013-02-28.