Hironobu Sakaguchi, honorary member of MO5.COM


MO5.COM is pleased to announce that game designer, and creator of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi recently joined the association as Honorary Member.

He regards the work of our association as highly welcome and necessary, and he therefore decided to support us and become Honorary Member. Such an important figure of the video game industry will undoubtedly help us grow and gain further popularity.

Hironobu Sakaguchi was born on November 25, 1962, in Hitachi, Japan. He studied electrical engineering at Yokohama National University, but dropped out in 1983 mid-term, with Hiromichi Tanaka. They became part-time employees of Square, the software division of Denyûsha Electric Company, and designed Square’s first games (The Death Trap, and its sequel) on NEC PC-8801. In September 1986, Square became an independent video game company, and started releasing products in 1987, mainly for the Famicom. Sakaguchi, now full-time employee, was promoted Director of Planning and Development. He created 3-D WorldRunner and Rad Racer, but neither enjoyed big commercial success. Therefore Sakaguchi decided to design his own RPG, after the popular reception of Dragon Quest. His project did not have unanimous backing within the company, and he named Final Fantasy for what he thought would be his final game before going back to school. But the title sold 400,000 copies and originated the most popular RPG series ever in the history of gaming. Sakaguchi either designed or supervised each FF episode up the eleventh, but he also designed Chrono Trigger and supervised many of Square’s series: Front Mission, Romancing SaGa, Tobal, Parasite Eve, and even Kingdom Hearts. In 1995, he became President at Square USA, Inc. He opened a 3D computer graphics studio which contributed to the huge success of Final Fantasy VII; the game sold 9.8 million units worldwide, making it the PlayStation’s second best-selling title. He carried on with supervising the following episodes, and produced many of them, especially Final Fantasy IX. In the meantime, he was also the (co)director of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001). Although a very ambitious project, the film was a commercial failure, which put Square into serious financial trouble. Sakaguchi left his post at Square in 2002, but still supervised a few projects (e.g. Final Fantasy X) as a freelance for his former employer. By the end of 2004, he founded his own studio, Mistwalker. Working at first with Microsoft, he designed Blue Dragon, which, not only united the talents of manga artist Akira Toriyama and video game composer Nobuo Uematsu, but also spawned a successful franchise on the Nintendo DS. Besides, Nintendo published his next game, The Last Story (2011) -the title being an allusion to the work that brought him fame. In 2012, he made a radical change both in terms of genre and support, with a surfing game for the iOS, Party Wave.

Rad Racer (NES, 1987)

Final Fantasy (NES, 1987-1990)

Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation, 1997)

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

Blue Dragon (Xbox 360, 2006-2007)

Party Wave (iOS, 2012)

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