First reported by Jarrod as a rumor through our Facebook & Twitter accounts, the move is official; Yasumi Matsuno has indeed joined level-5, confirmed through Matsuno’s own twitter account and Famitsu magazine (thanks to RPG fan). Previously, Matsuno was working at Quest until Square-Enix bought them out, becoming part of the larger company and even leading his own development team. He had since created the world of Ivalice which housed games such as the franchise of Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, and Final Fantasy XII. During mid-development of the latter game, he abruptly left the company due to illness…which wasn’t officially announced until 2007. Thankfully, he hasn’t disappeared completely from the limelight as he did freelance work (as head scenario writer) for two projects: Sega’s MadWorld for the Wii and 2011’s remake of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling together for the PSP. I find it bittersweet that his last involvement with Square-Enix is on a franchise he created during his Quest days. Moreover, the Ogre franchise has been dormant for more than a decade until the remake. Great stuff.
I’m a huge fan of Matsuno’s games and I think that he’ll make such a buzz during his tenure at level-5. While their most well-known projects are anything that has Dragon Quest on it, they also make some great original IPs set within the medieval fantasy realm. Matsuno’s expertise in that motif will make their games even better. Moreover, level-5’s Layton and Inazuma Eleven series further proves that they can work outside-of-the-box as well, which may give Matsuno an opportunity to change up his style. While I absolutely love the deep storyline Matsuno writes, I don’t mind to see him make something new. MadWorld, for example, is a game I never expected Matsuno to write given the gritty modern setting which likens it to Battle Royale, a Japanese novel which might’ve been an inspiration to him and the game’s style
Best of luck to Mr. Matsuno! I’m sure he’ll be very happy there. Go congratulate the dude through Twitter. It’s also nice to know that level-5 has ties to Square-Enix through Dragon Quest, so we may see Matsuno continue to contribute to Square as a tertiary. A proper revival of Ogre? Vagrant Story sequel? The possibilities are endless!