Square Enix has just announced that its president and representative director, Yosuke Matsuda, will step down after ten years in the role.
Under Matsuda's watch, Square Enix has seen both ups and downs. Recently, he attracted negative attention thanks to his commitment to NFTs and the company's recent selling-off of key western studios, such as Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal.
However, he was also the person who pushed for the company to reinvent its tentpole franchise – Final Fantasy – as well as remake Final Fantasy VII, one of the most beloved games the company has ever produced.
Matsuda will be replaced by Takahashi Kiryu, a company director who joined Square Enix in 2020. Kiryu says he will continue to oversee the 'Web 3.0' strategy laid down by his predecessor (which includes NFTs) but adds that he thinks the PlayStation-based 3D fighter Tobal No.1 is a "masterpiece".
Developed by DreamFactory in 1996 and boasting character designs by Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball and Dragon Quest fame, Tobal No. 1 is notable for being Square's first CD-ROM video game.
During a Q&A session regarding his promotion, Kiryu said:
"In terms of the old Square, it might be a bit of a maniac title, but I think Tobal No.1 is a masterpiece of action games. It's a game that's innovative and challenging, and I was very impressed with how Square could make a game like this."
Tobal No. 1 was followed by a sequel in 1997, but the series has been dormant since then. Could we see a revival thanks to Kiryu taking the hot seat?