Hajime Tabata at Lucca Comics & Games 2016
|Native name||田畑 端|
|Born||May 5, 1971|
Iwate Prefecture, Japan
|Occupation||Former video game director at Square Enix|
Hajime Tabata (田畑 端 Tabata Hajime, born May 5, 1971) is a Japanese game director and Luminous Productions COO and Conserje who formerly worked for Square Enix. He was the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 2 and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.
Tabata resigned from Luminous Productions and Square Enix Group on 31 October 2018.
When Tabata was in Middle school, he played a historical role-playing game made by Koei and first imagined how much fun it would be to make his own game. In his last year of university, he applied for jobs in the video game industry and in other media arts such as documentaries, television and film. He worked at several different video game publishers prior to his being hired at Square Enix, which he said gave him experience making action games, arcade games, and role-playing games. On November 7th, 2018 it was announced that he has departed from Square Enix.
In the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the international outpouring of support for Japan was paralleled at Square Enix by fan letters about the upcoming release of Type-0, and encouraged Tabata to make something special for the fans and those living through difficult times.
He became the director of Final Fantasy XV, taking over from Tetsuya Nomura in December 2013, a change that was announced in September 2014. He used to be co-director on the project. During his work on Final Fantasy XV, Tabata joked about his busy schedule, mentioning he regularly got only three hours sleep. Tabata, whose previous experience was with portable gaming devices, stated he is excited to work on console systems and "help players dive even deeper into their experiences".
Tabata formerly served as producer for Final Fantasy XV downloadable content. His work on the downloadable content will continue into 2019. He and staff within Square Enix Business Division 2 are also currently working on a new intellectual property targeting the next-generation of consoles. Development for this project will start in earnest in 2018, after previously only having a small team of 20-30 people assigned to it.
On March 27, 2018, it was revealed that Tabata created a new Tokyo game studio for Square Enix called Luminous Productions, which consists of several key members from the Final Fantasy XV team. He is the COO and Head of Studio for Luminous Productions.
On November 7, 2018, Square Enix announced Tabata's resignation from Luminous Productions and Square Enix Group on October 31, 2018. In addition, 3 of the 4 DLCs for Final Fantasy XV were cancelled.
With the announcement of his resignation from Square Enix, Tabata announced that he will be starting his own company to create a new project.
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