Kawazu at the Final Fantasy XII London HMV Launch Party in 2007
|Native name||河津 秋敏|
|Born||November 5, 1962|
Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan
|Occupation||Video game designer, producer|
|Notable work|| Final Fantasy |
Akitoshi Kawazu(河津 秋敏Kawazu Akitoshi, born November 5, 1962) is a Japanese game producer and game designer. He is best known for his work on Final Fantasy and SaGa franchise of role-playing video games. He was the majority shareholder for The Game Designers Studio, a shell corporation founded in June 1999 by Square and re-purposed in 2002 to exploit a loophole with the company's exclusivity deal to develop for Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation consoles.
Kawazu studied ceramics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Kawazu was invited by a friend to work at the gaming magazine published by Softbank called "Beep".He stated that he had always been interested in board games, and after a time joined Square Co. in 1985.
His first game at Square Co. was Rad Racer, creating the ending sequence showing a player's accomplishments.
He and Hironobu Sakaguchi had wanted to make a role playing game for a long time, and were fans of Wizardry and Ultima, but were concerned it would not sell.After the success in Japan of Dragon Quest , and the popular desire for an RPG proven, development began. Kawazu took over the development of the battle sequence and system, and tried to model it as much after Dungeons and Dragons as he could. Part of the development was to add western fantasy gaming rules, such as a fire monster being vulnerable to ice, which at the time were not features of Japanese gaming.
Production on The Last Remnant began after the remake of Romancing SaGa for the PlayStation 2 was completed.Kawazu was also involved in the development of "It's New Frontier" (sic). During the development of Final Fantasy XII , Yasumi Matsuno, who was the lead on the game, left half way through, and Kawazu took over.
Board games such as Avalon Hill and Dungeons & Dragons influence a lot of Kawazu's development process.When creating a new game, he examines the elements like a board game and makes that the working foundation.