Square Enix chief technology officer Yoshihisa Hashimoto has left the company, it was confirmed to Polygon today.
In addition to his role as CTO, Hashimoto served under director-producer Naoki Yoshida as technical director for Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. Hashimoto was also manager of the company's Advanced Technology Division and headed development on Square Enix's new Luminous engine, which powers the 2013 Agni's Philosophy tech demo.
Japanese site Game Watch reports that Hashimoto cited "personal reasons" for his departure. He had been with the company since 2009, having come over from Sega to help with development on the Luminous engine.
Hashimoto will serve as technical adviser where needed for both Final Fantasy 14 and Luminous, but his remaining responsibilities will be assumed by others within Square Enix until a full-time replacement is found; Remi Driancourt — a senior engineer who has worked on Agni's Philosophy, Final Fantasy 14 and upcoming title Final Fantasy 15 — will manage the Luminous team. Final Fantasy 14's technical director role will be temporarily filled by the game's lead programmer, Hideyuki Kasuga, according to the report.
This has been a bumpy year and a half for Square Enix, with the company having seen a number of high-profile departures. In March 2013, president and CEO Yoichi Wada stepped down after 13 years with the company (having joined when it was still Square) following the company's announcement it would be undergoing major "management reform." The position was taken up by former company director Yosuke Matsuda. Two months later, president and CEO of Square Enix of America Mike Fischer quit, leaving the company for a position at Amazon Japan.
In December 2013, veteran character designer Akihiko Yoshida — who had been with Square Enix since 1995 and worked on more than a dozen games, including Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy 12 and, most recently, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn and Bravely Default — announced his departure. This past March, vice president of strategic marketing for North America and Europe Karl Stewart, who worked on campaigns for both the Tomb Raider and Thief reboots, left the company.
After suffering "extraordinary" losses in its 2013 fiscal year, Square Enix announced earlier this year that it was returning to profitability thanks to strong sales of Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn (you can read how director Yoshida turned the tide on the MMO here). Its most recent financial report included $65 million in net income for 2014.