Shinji Hashimoto has left the building. After twenty-seven years working at Square Enix, the longtime executive and brand manager of the Final Fantasy franchise announced his retirement from the company via his personal Twitter account.
May 31st, 2022 marked his final day of work. He made a brief and simple farewell message, thanking those who supported him during his time at the company while saying he would continue to support Square Enix, but as a fan. The official Square Enix account also provided an official farewell video.
Hashimoto joined Square Enix in 1995, following a brief period with Bandai Namco. This was during a time when both companies were known by different names, simply “Square” (or “Squaresoft”) and “Bandai.” Their respective mergers with Enix and Namco wouldn’t happen until 2003 and 2006.
Hashimoto’s departure was reported on by Siliconera’s Josh Tolentino, who noted that Hashimoto’s work at the company began as a producer for titles in the Front Mission series. Hashimoto also fulfilled various producer roles on the Final Fantasy franchise such as Final Fantasy VII, Chocobo Racing, Final Fantasy IX and as an executive producer on the Final Fantasy Advance games.
He is also credited as the co-creator of the Kingdom Hearts series, which legend (and official record) has began with Hashimoto sharing an elevator with a Disney executive one fine day — Disney Japan and Square shared a building at the time — where he proposed an idea for a Disney/Square crossover game.
No one post could really capture the depth of credited roles that Shinji Hashimoto has played in the development and production of games at Square or Square Enix, but let it suffice to say that he was the executive in charge of the company’s 1st Production Department following a shift towards a project-based system of development.
Hashimoto also served as Brand Manager for the Final Fantasy series for more than a decade before stepping down and making room for Yoshinori Kitase, and taking up a role as corporate advisor, which Tolentino notes, involved training future leaders at Square Enix. Although no longer involved in development, he continued to receive credits on titles like Nier Replicant remake and Legend of Mana.
To celebrate Hashimoto’s retirement, Toshiyuki Itahana, illustrator and art director of Final Fantasy Chronicles drew art of him together with a Chocobo and a Moogle.
“I’ll be leaving the company in high spirits,” said Hashimoto. “But I will continue to be around and involved in entertainment, so please be assured. To everyone around the world, I hope you will continue to support Square Enix titles.”