Kazuya Niinou, the Dragon Quest Builders series director and longtime Square Enix developer, has left the company. The developer announced he was leaving via Twitter, in which he stated he would be moving on to a “new development environment.” Niinou was with Square Enix for seven years and worked on many projects, including Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.
His tweet can be found below:
— 新納一哉 (@Nino_Kazuya) August 23, 2019
Thanks to a translation from Gematsu, the tweet reads:
With development on Builders 2 completed, I have left Square Enix. To Naoki Yoshida, Noriyoshi Fujimoto, Takuma Shiraishi, all of my colleagues, and everyone who enjoyed the games I made, thank you so much! I truly appreciate your support. I have been at Square Enix for about seven years now (my longest yet!). I felt a little burned out with Builders 2 and wanted to try out a development cycle different from Square Enix, so I set out for a new development environment.
Further down the Twitter thread announcing his departure, Niinou stated he already had plans for the future and that he would go into more detail about that topic in the future. It was also noted that he would still be overseeing Dragon Quest Builders 2 progress as an external consultant.
The Dragon Quest Builders series has done quite well, with the most recent entry, Dragon Quest Builders 2 reaching 1.1 million copies sold. We absolutely loved it here, giving it praise for its improvements from the first entry and sheer amount of content packed into the game.
With Niinou’s departure from Square Enix, it’s unclear what the future holds for the Dragon Quest Builders series. The franchise is perfect for iteration, but with its director gone, who knows if we’ll see another installment. Time will tell.
What do you think Niinou’s plans are for the future? Is there a studio you’d like to see him with with? Let us know!