Hiroyuki Ito

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Hiroyuki Ito
Born伊藤 裕之
Nationality Japanese
Occupation Video game producer, director, designer

Hiroyuki Ito(伊藤 裕之,Itō Hiroyuki), is a Japanese game producer, director and designer who works for Square Enix. He is known as the director of Final Fantasy VI (1994), Final Fantasy IX (2000) and Final Fantasy XII (2006) and as the creator of the Active Time Battle (ATB) system in the Final Fantasy series.

Square Enix Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling over 115 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.

<i>Final Fantasy VI</i> 1994 video game

Final Fantasy VI, also known as Final Fantasy III from its marketing for initial North American release in 1994, is a role-playing video game developed and published by Japanese company Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Final Fantasy VI, being the sixth game in the series proper, was the first to be directed by someone other than producer and series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi; the role was filled instead by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Ito. Yoshitaka Amano, long-time collaborator to the Final Fantasy series, returned as the character designer and contributed widely to visual concept design, while series-regular, composer Nobuo Uematsu, wrote the game's score, which has been released on several soundtrack albums. Set in a fantasy world with a technology level equivalent to that of the Second Industrial Revolution, the game's story follows an expanding cast that includes fourteen permanent playable characters. The drama includes and extends past depicting a rebellion against an evil military dictatorship, pursuit of a magical arms-race, use of chemical weapons in warfare, depiction of violent, apocalyptic confrontations with Divinities, several personal redemption arcs, teenage pregnancy, and the continuous renewal of hope and life itself.

<i>Final Fantasy IX</i> 2000 video game

Final Fantasy IX is a 2000 role-playing video game developed and published by Squaresoft for the PlayStation video game console. It is the ninth game in the main Final Fantasy series and the last to debut on the original PlayStation. The plot centers on the consequences of a war between nations in a medieval fantasy world called Gaia. Players follow bandit Zidane Tribal, who kidnaps Alexandrian princess Garnet Til Alexandros XVII as part of a gambit by the neighboring nation of Lindblum. He joins Garnet and a growing cast of characters on a quest to take down her mother, Queen Brahne of Alexandria, who started the war. The plot shifts when the player learns that Brahne is a pawn of a more menacing threat, Kuja, who shares a mysterious history with Zidane spanning two worlds.



After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University, Ito joined Square in 1987. [1] He initially worked on Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II as a debugger but first became genuinely involved with game development while creating sound effects for Final Fantasy III . [2] His next major role was as the designer of the Active Time Battle system for Final Fantasy IV . [2] [3] Square filed a Japanese patent application related to the ATB system on 16 July 1991 and a corresponding US application on 16 March 1992. One Japanese patent (JP2794230) and two US patents (US5390937 and US5649862) were granted based on these applications. [4] For Final Fantasy V , Ito designed the fully customizable Job system. [3] [5] He also created the 'Chicken Knife or Brave Blade' choosing event. [5] Final Fantasy VI marked the first time that Ito became a director on a game. For this title, he was in charge of all battle aspects. [6] He was also responsible for the battle systems in Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy Tactics before he once more took on the role of director with Final Fantasy IX . [2] Ito had the idea to make its protagonist Zidane Tribal flirtatious towards women. [7]

Tokyo Zokei University

Tokyo Zokei University is a private university in Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan, founded in 1966 by Japanese art educator, fashion designer and design journalist, Yoko Kuwasawa (1910-1977). It is a four-year art college offering both bachelor's and master's degrees in studio arts.

Square Co., Ltd. was a Japanese video game company founded in September 1986 by Masafumi Miyamoto. It merged with Enix in 2003 to form Square Enix. The company also used SquareSoft as a brand name to refer to their games, and the term is occasionally used to refer to the company itself. In addition, "Square Soft, Inc" was the name of the company's American arm before the merger, after which it was renamed to "Square Enix, Inc".

<i>Final Fantasy</i> (video game) 1987 video game

Final Fantasy is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square in 1987. It is the first game in Square's Final Fantasy series, created by Hironobu Sakaguchi. Originally released for the NES, Final Fantasy was remade for several video game consoles and is frequently packaged with Final Fantasy II in video game collections. The story follows four youths called the Light Warriors, who each carry one of their world's four elemental orbs which have been darkened by the four Elemental Fiends. Together, they quest to defeat these evil forces, restore light to the orbs, and save their world.

In mid-2005, Square Enix announced that Yasumi Matsuno had left the company due to an illness but would be acting as a supervisor on Final Fantasy XII . Ito was appointed as the director of the game. Matsuno apologized for the long development time of the project but guaranteed players that it was "progressing in its development under the hands of excellent staffs". [8] Ito created the License Board of Final Fantasy XII with the intention to give the player much freedom in developing characters to their liking without becoming too complicated. [9] At the Square Enix Party 2007 pre-conference meeting in May 2007, he was introduced on stage as the producer and director of the newly announced Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System. [10] He stated later that he considered the game design and battle system of Final Fantasy XII a "definitive contribution to the gaming lexicon" and that it had "the potential to shine in future games". [11] In about 2012, Ito was tasked by producer Shinichi Tatsuke with the creation of a battle system for a new game. However, the plan changed and he was told a week later that there was a different project to consider. Tatsuke now requested a concept for a social game which he felt was an interesting opportunity to have Ito work on, given his experience with simple Nintendo Entertainment System game systems. This concept became Guardian Cross . [12] In September 2012, Ito said that he would work on another Final Fantasy game if the company's president wished for it. [3] The corporate executive of Square Enix's 1st Production Department, Shinji Hashimoto, mentioned in July 2013 that Ito was "planning and doing some proposals for a new project" and "putting some ideas together". [13]

Yasumi Matsuno is a Japanese video game designer. Formally an employee at Quest Corporation and Square, Matsuno is best known for his work in the tactical role-playing game genre, specifically the Ogre Battle and Final Fantasy Tactics series, in addition to Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy XII.

<i>Final Fantasy XII</i> video game

Final Fantasy XII is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 home video console. A part of the Final Fantasy series, the game was released in 2006. It introduced several innovations to the series: an open world, a seamless battle system, a controllable camera, a customizable "gambit" system, which lets the player control the artificial intelligence (AI) of characters in battle, a "license" system, which determines what abilities and equipment can be used by characters, and a hunting side quest, which allows the player to find and defeat increasingly difficult monsters in the game's open world. Final Fantasy XII also includes elements from previous games in the series, such as Chocobos and Moogles.

<i>Guardian Cross</i> smart phone game

Guardian Cross is a smartphone game for iOS and Android, created by Square Enix. It was released on September 13, 2012 for iOS, and on August 5, 2013 for Android. In it, the player captures creatures to form a deck of cards that they use to battle human and computer opponents. Battles take place as turn-based matches on the device, while capturing creatures is a first person shooter mini-game. Although reviews were not complimentary towards the game, it sold well. The multiplayer servers for the game were shut down on January 10, 2017.

Game design and impact

As the game designer of a Final Fantasy game, Ito tries to balance the story and event scenes with the gameplay. [14] When he begins his work on a title, he does not consider the story at hand but rather adapts his game system to it as closely as possible over the time. He thinks that it is his job to smoothly implement a game so the people in charge of the stories do not have to worry about this aspect. [3] He also believes that the most important factor of the Final Fantasy series is the player's feeling of accomplishment after beating the game and seeing "The End" on the screen. [15] Professional sports were the primary inspiration behind Ito's battle systems. [3] The monsters in Final Fantasy IV and the Gambit system in Final Fantasy XII resemble aspects of the NFL in that their actions are based on the most likely outcome of a specific situation. [3] [15] The Active Time Battle system was similarly inspired by Formula One, as Ito had the idea to give characters different speed values after seeing a race in which the cars passed each other. These values would then become the basis for the battle system and dictate when it will be a character's turn. [2] [3] [16]

Formula One is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula One Group. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950. The word "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, which take place worldwide on purpose-built circuits and on public roads.

At the CESA 2006 Japan Game Awards held on 22 September 2006, Ito accepted the "Grand Award" and "Award for Excellence" for Final Fantasy XII. He thanked the development team, longtime fans and new players alike and said that the team was grateful for the awards as they could not possibly think about the game's reception during its creation. [17] His comment at the ceremony was: "I did my best to bring new and innovative elements to this work. I'm very happy that something like this, which was one of the more challenging games to create in the Final Fantasy series, has received this award. To return the favor to the users who've played this game and who regard it so highly, I'm determined to continue creating by always reminding myself of the need to rise to new challenges." [18] Tetsuya Nomura considers Ito one of his four "seniors" at the company and a likely influence on his battle planning. [19] He also stated that he was taught the basics of game design by Ito. [20]

Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) is a Japanese organization that was established in 1996 to "promote the computer entertainment industry [...] with the aim of contributing to the strengthening of Japanese industry as well as to the further enrichment of people's lifestyles." It organizes the annual Tokyo Game Show and Japan Game Awards.

The Japan Game Awards is the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's awards ceremony for the Japanese video game industry, which was created in 1996 as the CESA Awards.

Tetsuya Nomura is a Japanese video game artist, designer and director working for Square Enix. He designed characters for the Final Fantasy series, debuting with Final Fantasy VI and continuing with various later installments. Additionally, Nomura has lead the development of the Kingdom Hearts series since its debut in 2002 and was also the director for the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.


1987Aliens: Alien 2 MSX Developer [3]
Final Fantasy Nintendo Entertainment System Debugger [2]
1988 Final Fantasy II
1989 Square's Tom Sawyer Planning
Final Fantasy Legend Game Boy Scenario staff, cartography
1990 Final Fantasy III Nintendo Entertainment SystemSound effects [2]
Rad Racer II Game design
1991 Final Fantasy IV Super Nintendo Entertainment System Battle design
1992 Final Fantasy V Battle plan
1994 Final Fantasy VI Director, battle system designer [6]
1995 Chrono Trigger Event plan
1996 Super Mario RPG Special thanks
1997 Final Fantasy Tactics PlayStation Game design, battle system main planner
1999 Final Fantasy VIII Battle system designer [21]
2000 Final Fantasy IX Director, battle system designer [2]
2006 Final Fantasy XII PlayStation 2 Director, game design, battle director [9] [15] [22]
Final Fantasy V Advance Game Boy Advance Supervisor
Final Fantasy VI Advance
2007 Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System PlayStation 2Producer, director, game design [10]
Final Fantasy IV DS Nintendo DS Battle supervisor
2009Crawlian Browser game Producer [23]
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord Wii Special thanks
Gyromancer Xbox 360, Windows
2011 Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy PlayStation Portable
2012 Guardian Cross iOS, Android Original concept [24]
2014Deadman's CrossiOS, Android, PlayStation Vita Battle design [25]
Murdered: Soul Suspect PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, WindowsSpecial thanks
2015 Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade
2016Guardian CodexiOS, Android
2017 Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age PlayStation 4Supervisor [26]

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