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Final Fantasy XV Art Director Yusuke Naora Leaves Square Enix

Yusuke Naora has worked on Final Fantasy for over two decades, taking the helm as Art Director of the series as far back as Final Fantasy VI and as recently as Final Fantasy XV. Naora's history spans some of the most memorable moments in the franchise's history. Unfortunately, it seems the time has come for the two to part ways.

Yesterday Naora announced via his Twitter in Japanese that his last day at Square Enix was September 30. A few hours ago, Naora posted a few tweets in English detailing his departure.

Naora also mentions that before he left, he had the chance to see Final Fantasy XV's ending. "It was my last work, and it became the greatest ending," said Naora on Twitter. "Everybody did fantastic! It was the finest work."

Naora also mentioned that he's also looking to begin work on a new venture.

[Source: Naora Yusuke's Twitter via Nova Crystalis]

 

Our Take
I've fallen off Final Fantasy In recent years, but Naora worked on my favorite Final Fantasy (X), so I'm sad to see him go. Here's hoping whatever new venture he's pursuing ends up working out. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

John Smedley leaves AAA: ‘I’m proud to actually be in the trenches’

The former president of Sony Online Entertainment discusses the pleasures and challenges of independent development, and discusses just how massive an online multiplayer experience needs to be. …


Gamasutra News

Former Diablo III Director Jay Wilson Leaves Blizzard

Blizzard game director Jay Wilson announced on Twitter that this
will be his last week working at the company and in the industry as a whole.

Wilson started working as a game director at Blizzard in
2006, after serving as a designer of various RTS games at Relic Entertainment. For
many Blizzard fans, Wilson is most well-known as the original game director for
Diablo III – though likely for the wrong reasons. Diablo III's implementation
of in-game and real-money auction houses for weapons and items spawned an
outcry of criticism from gamers, much of which was personally directed at
Wilson.

Wilson left
the post
to work on another project within Blizzard, and would later call
Diablo III's auction houses a
mistake
; Blizzard would later go on to pull auction houses from the PC
version, and hasn't stopped tweaking the game's loot system and introducing
additional content since.

Wilson stated in a series of tweets that he is leaving the
industry to focus on writing, and thanked his colleagues.

[Source: Twitter,
via NeoGAF]

 

Our Take
While being Diablo III's
game director made Jay Wilson the public face for the game, blaming a single
individual for all of a title's real or perceived problems is simply unfair.
Blizzard's continued effort to improve Diablo III is a testament to the
developer's desire to make the best and most fun games possible – by all
accounts Wilson shared that enthusiasm, even if players didn't always agree
with all of his decisions. We wish Wilson the best of luck in his future
endeavors.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Mass Effect: Andromeda Lead Writer Leaves BioWare To Join Bungie

On November 7, 2014 ("N7 Day" as it's known to Mass Effect fans), BioWare introduced Chris Schlerf as the new lead writer for its upcoming follow-up to the beloved Shepard trilogy. Schlerf, who was the lead writer of Halo 4, joined BioWare Montreal to work on the game we now know as Mass Effect: Andromeda. Today, through a series of tweets, Schlerf confirmed that he has left BioWare to join Bungie.

You can read his tweets on his departure from BioWare and arrival at Bungie below.

The news comes hot on the heels of another major departure from BioWare: David Gaider, who was instrumental in crafting the Dragon Age universe. Gaider recently announced that he has joined Beamdog as creative director. Just a few weeks prior to that, Andromeda's senior development director, Chris Wynn, announced his departure from the team. Wynn has since become the executive producer of H1Z1 at Daybreak.

Mass Effect: Andromeda was officially unveiled at last year's E3 and is currently slated to release sometime in 2016.

We have reached out to EA for more information and will update this story if we receive comment.

[Source: Chris Schlerf on Twitter]

 

Our Take
It's impossible to know what this means for Mass Effect: Andromeda. It could mean that BioWare wanted to go in a different direction, or it could simply mean that Schlerf got a good offer from Bungie. Either way, there seems to be quite a few critical people leaving BioWare lately. I'm hoping it doesn't point to bigger problems.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Mass Effect: Andromeda Lead Writer Leaves BioWare To Join Bungie

On November 7, 2014 ("N7 Day" as it's known to Mass Effect fans), BioWare introduced Chris Schlerf as the new lead writer for its upcoming follow-up to the beloved Shepard trilogy. Schlerf, who was the lead writer of Halo 4, joined BioWare Montreal to work on the game we now know as Mass Effect: Andromeda. Today, through a series of tweets, Schlerf confirmed that he has left BioWare to join Bungie.

You can read his tweets on his departure from BioWare and arrival at Bungie below.

The news comes hot on the heels of another major departure from BioWare: David Gaider, who was instrumental in crafting the Dragon Age universe. Gaider recently announced that he has joined Beamdog as creative director. Just a few weeks prior to that, Andromeda's senior development director, Chris Wynn, announced his departure from the team. Wynn has since become the executive producer of H1Z1 at Daybreak.

Mass Effect: Andromeda was officially unveiled at last year's E3 and is currently slated to release sometime in 2016.

We have reached out to EA for more information and will update this story if we receive comment.

[Source: Chris Schlerf on Twitter]

 

Our Take
It's impossible to know what this means for Mass Effect: Andromeda. It could mean that BioWare wanted to go in a different direction, or it could simply mean that Schlerf got a good offer from Bungie. Either way, there seems to be quite a few critical people leaving BioWare lately. I'm hoping it doesn't point to bigger problems.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Longtime BioWare Writer David Gaider Leaves Company

If you've enjoyed BioWare characters like HK-47, Cassandra, and Dorian, you might need to sit down for this one. David Gaider, the writer responsible for those characters (and a stable of others) has left BioWare after 17 years.

The announcement came from Gaider himself over Twitter this morning.

In addition to writing individual characters, Gaider also helped create the whole Dragon Age setting, and he has written several Dragon Age novels. We already knew that he was moving on from Dragon Age to work on a new project, but now we'll just have to wait to see what's next for the writer.

Our Take
As a fan of Dragon Age and other BioWare franchises, this is a big deal. Even for those who don't recognize his name, Gaider has been helping to steer the narrative direction at BioWare for a long time. I have faith in the rest of the writing team at BioWare, but I can't ignore the fact that Gaider is the creative force behind some of my favorite characters in video game history. I hope that his next gig is still somewhere within the industry. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw leaves Valve after 18 years

Half-Life scribe Marc Laidlaw has confirmed to Gamasutra that he has left Valve Software. …


Gamasutra News

Man Leaves His Super Nintendo On For Nearly 20 Years To Preserve His Save

Twitter user Wanikun really, really, really did not want to part with his save of Umihara Kawase.

Certain cartridge game suffered from a flaw where the save within the cartridge would die once the batteries were dead. Wanikun had a novel solution for this: he kept his console on for nearly 20 years.

He did have to unplug the console once while moving but managed to hook the game back up before he lost his save but still, he calculates that the console has been running for nearly 180,000 hours.

[Source: Rocket News24]

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Report: Hideo Kojima Officially Leaves Konami (Possibly For Real This Time)

It seems the drawn out divorce of Konami and Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima could be hurtling toward a finale. Nikkei is reporting that as of today, Kojima has separated from the publisher.

The Nikkei story suggests that Kojima, who spent the better part of the 30 years at Konami, will be opening his own studio. We’ve reached out to Konami for comment on Kojima’s current status with the publisher and we’ll update should we receive a response.

The messy breakup first came to light when Konami removed Kojima’s name from Metal Gear Solid series boxart. The company then canceled Silent Hills, which Kojima was working on with Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro. The Los Angeles branch of Kojima Productions was later shuttered.

Along the way, rumors emerged that Kojima had already departed (refuted by Konami). The most recent dust up occurred at The Game Awards earlier in December as host Geoff Keighley revealed that Konami exercised legal leverage to prevent Kojima’s attendance.

For an in-depth look at the events of the past year transpiring between Kojima and Konami, check out our previous coverage.

[Source: Nikkei via Polygon]

 

Our Take
At this point, it’s unlikely Konami is going to comment about anything related to Kojima. This sordid tale won’t be over until he formally announces his own studio and can talk about what’s been going on over the past year. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Secret Ponchos: Most Wanted Edition On PC Leaves Early Access Today

Secret Ponchos, the overhead multiplayer shooter, is no longer an early access PC title, starting today.

The game released in PlayStation 4 back in December of last year, but its PC iteration has taken a bit longer to be considered an official release. This version of the game adds four more outlaws, two new maps, new skins, and a single-player arcade mode, among other additions. You can find more details here.

For our review of the PlayStation 4 version of Secret Ponchos, head here.

[Source: Secret Ponchos, via NeoGAF]

 

Our Take
The general consensus, as well as our own, on Secret Ponchos has been mostly negative. The game has a very cool western style, however, and it has the potential to find some new life on PC. I'm hopeful that its time in early access will have some positive results.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed