From the FINAL FANTASY XI Development Team
Changing of the Guard: Messages from the FINAL FANTASY XI Producers (31/07/2012)

On August 1, 2012, Akihiko Matsui will take over as producer of FINAL FANTASY XI for Hiromichi Tanaka, who has produced the game since its launch a decade ago.

To commemorate this occasion, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Matsui have respectively written a farewell and a greeting to the FINAL FANTASY XI community.

Greetings, everyone. It feels good to write to you once again.

As of August 1, 2012, I will be the new producer of FINAL FANTASY XI. While Mr. Tanaka's shoes are certainly big ones to fill, I am confident I will eventually be able to do so with the support of the many talented people on the FFXI team.

FINAL FANTASY XI has undergone some radical changes since I left the project two years ago, and although I obviously expected it to evolve in my absence, the degree of change is overwhelming. I will definitely need to familiarize myself with the current state of the game as fast as possible if I want to be effective at this new position.

Thinking back to when I wrote, "I wanted to stay on the development team to the very end," for a FFXI tenth anniversary book, I had never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to assume the role of producer. Therefore, please allow me to write this down in hopes that it comes true in the same way that tenth anniversary message did: I will work as hard as possible to protect the integrity of FINAL FANTASY XI and to honor the opinions of its community so that the players may continue to love this game as they have for the past decade.

On that note, I had best get started checking the official forums every day.

I look forward to working with XI again, and may your words of encouragement give me the motivation to continue to do my best.

Akihiko Matsui

After coming here day after day, year after year, this is my last day at SQUARE ENIX.

A little over one month has passed since I announced my departure at Vanafest, but even now I can scarcely believe the time has come. I'll have to make sure not to accidentally show up for work tomorrow out of habit.

Although my time on this project has come to a close, I know that all the developers and project staff will give their utmost under the guidance of Mr. Matsui to expand the world of Vana'diel, and, in particular, to develop the new lands of Adoulin. I can sleep soundly knowing the game is safe in their hands.

Though I will be leaving for new pastures without SQUARE ENIX, I hope to continue to contribute to the future of the gaming industry and online gaming, even if only in a small way. Thank you very much for your support all these years.

Hiromichi Tanaka