Yoshinori Kitase is a legendary Square Enix producer, director and writer. He is an Executive Officer at Square Enix, the head of Square Enix’s Business Division 1 and a member of the FINAL FANTASY Committee with Motomu Toriyama & other lead FINAL FANTASY developers.
Kitase loves movies and is a massive Star Wars fan. He also loves first-person shooters, Call of Duty in particular.
Kitase was born on September 23, 1966.
Kitase is married and has two children.
His favourite game is FINAL FANTASY VII and his favourite character is Cloud Strife.
FINAL FANTASY series creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi feels that he “handed the torch to” Kitase.
The first RPG Kitase played was DRAGON QUEST and he also played the first 3 FINAL FANTASY games prior to joining Square. Kitase initially wanted to make movies but FINAL FANTASY made him change his mind.
Kitase joined Square around the time FINAL FANTASY IV was finishing development. The first game he worked on was Final Fantasy Adventure. Kitase worked on the game design and also helped write the scenario.
He then worked on Romancing SaGa and worked on field map design.
Kitase then joined the FINAL FANTASY team and worked on FINAL FANTASY V. Kitase helped write the scenario and was also an event planner and field planner.
During the development of FINAL FANTASY VI, Kitase was promoted to director along with Hiroyuki Ito. Kitase continued writing the game’s scenario and also as an event planner.
With work on FINAL FANTASY VII put on hold, Kitase and many of the other experienced developers on the FINAL FANTASY VII team joined the CHRONO TRIGGER team. Kitase served as one of the game’s 3 directors and also helped write the scenario.
Work resumed on FINAL FANTASY VII. Kitase served as the game’s sole director and also wrote the scenario with Kazushige Nojima.
The team then moved onto FINAL FANTASY VIII. Kitase once again served as director. Kitase also helped write the scenario.
Work then begun on FINAL FANTASY X, Kitase began the game’s development as director but during development would be promoted by series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi to producer & head of Square’s Product Development Division 1.
Kitase in turn then promoted Motomu Toriyama, Takayoshi Nakazato and Toshiro Tsuchida to director on FINAL FANTASY X. Kitase would oversee their work and served as producer for the remainder of development.
After the International version of FINAL FANTASY X was released, fans in Japan demanded a sequel and Kitase eventually got a sequel approved with Toriyama as director. Kitase served as producer and the first direct-sequel in FINAL FANTASY history was released with FINAL FANTASY X-2.
As head of PDD1, Kitase also served as co-producer on both KINGDOM HEARTS and KINGDOM HEARTS II and as a producer on KINGDOM HEARTS: CHAIN of MEMORIES.
As the director of FINAL FANTASY VII, Kitase helmed the Compilation of FINAL FANTASY VII, which included multiple titles in the world of FINAL FANTASY VII in different times and different forms of media and platforms. Kitase served as producer on the sequel to VII, CGI movie FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN and also the director’s cut, ADVENT CHILDREN COMPLETE.
Kitase would also serve as executive producer for the first time with BEFORE CRISIS -FINAL FANTASY VII- and CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII-. Kitase stepped down during development of CRISIS CORE to serve as event planner on the entire Nibelheim section since it was such a huge part of the original game.
Kitase also got his wish and made a third-person-shooter with DIRGE of CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII- with which he served as producer.
Kitase supervised the GBA ports of FINAL FANTASY V and FINAL FANTASY VI. He would also supervise the FINAL FANTASY VII Tech Demo for PS3 created by Toriyama and the FINAL FANTASY XIII team that was shown E3 2005.
Kitase served as producer on the Japan-exclusive Sigma Harmonics. He also served as producer on DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY, a special fighting game made for the 20th anniversary of the FINAL FANTASY series.
Kitase would later serve as producer on The 3rd Birthday and also FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 after the original producer left Square Enix. Kitase would have to remind the director of TYPE-0, Hajime Tabata to use the FABULA NOVA CRYSTALLIS mythology in the game.
Kitase’s main project after FINAL FANTASY X-2 however was the FINAL FANTASY XIII series. Kitase served as producer for all 3 games in the series. Kitase also helped develop the Crystal Tools engine used for the 3 games.
The Crystal Tools engine was also used for FINAL FANTASY XIV 1.0 and for many years, FINAL FANTASY VERSUS XIII (later reworked into FINAL FANTASY XV with a different engine) which Kitase served as a producer on until approximately December 2013. He would be credited with a special thanks on FINAL FANTASY XV’s credits.
Kitase was the one who suggested Noel be created for FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 in order to help the tone be different to FINAL FANTASY X-2 as the team wished for a darker tone.
Kitase had this to say for the North American launch of LIGHTNING RETURNS FINAL FANTASY XIII: “We wanted to create a conclusive title with LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII – one that not only ties up Lightning’s storyline, but also provides players an extremely memorable and aesthetically visual gameplay experience. We thank the community for their invaluable feedback during development, and are excited for fans to dive deep into this new FINAL FANTASY universe.”
Kitase also served as producer on FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster. He wished to have FINAL FANTASY X & X-2 playable for younger people, in particular his son who only knew Tidus & Yuna from DISSIDIA.
Kitase had this to say for the North American launch of FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster: “With this remaster, we wanted to service our community by bringing back two of the most cherished titles in the series. We’ve spent a lot of time completely remastering the game and the final high-definition experience is a true testament to the team’s hard work. We can’t wait for the fans to re-experience the gorgeous world of Spira.”
Kitase would then serve as producer on the Windows PC ports of the FINAL FANTASY XIII series and as executive producer on FINAL FANTASY VII G-BIKE.
After work was finished on LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII, Kitase decided to make a mobile game with console game level graphics. Kitase achieved this when MOBIUS FINAL FANTASY was launched in 2015 for Japan on iOS & Android. It has since been released worldwide and on PC.
Kitase is still serving as producer on MOBIUS FINAL FANTASY. While the title has been released worldwide it continues to receive regular story additions and updates.
Kitase is currently serving as producer on FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE. FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE will be released as multiple episodes.
Kitase is almost certain to serve as producer on FINAL FANTASY X-3 if it is ever made.
Kitase has said he is keeping a possible remake of FINAL FANTASY VI “pending for now.”
Kitase served as producer on the Windows PC ports of the FINAL FANTASY XIII series and as such is a good chance to serve as producer for other ports.
Final Fantasy Adventure – Game Design & Scenario (1991)
Romancing SaGa – Field Map Design (1992)
FINAL FANTASY V – Field Plan, Event Planner, Scenario Writer (1992)
FINAL FANTASY VI – Director, Event Planner, Scenario Writer (1994)
CHRONO TRIGGER – Director, Scenario Writer (1995)
FINAL FANTASY VII – Director, Scenario Writer (1997)
Ehrgeiz – FFVII Staff (1998)
FINAL FANTASY VIII – Director, Scenario Writer (1999)
FINAL FANTASY X – Producer, original Director, Scenario Writer (2001)
KINGDOM HEARTS – Co-Producer (2002)
Unlimited SaGa – Special Thanks (2003)
FINAL FANTASY X-2 – Producer (2003)
BEFORE CRISIS -FINAL FANTASY VII- – Executive Producer (2004)
KINGDOM HEARTS: CHAIN of MEMORIES – Producer (2004)
Romancing SaGa – Special Thanks (2005)
KINGDOM HEARTS II – Co-Producer (2005)
DIRGE of CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII- – Producer (2006)
FINAL FANTASY V Advance – Supervisor (2006)
FINAL FANTASY VI Advance – Supervisor (2006)
Dawn of Mana – Special Thanks (2006)
Heroes of Mana – Special Thanks (2007)
CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII- Executive Producer, Event Planner (2007)
Sigma Harmonics – Producer (2008)
DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY – Producer (2008)
FINAL FANTASY: THE 4 HEROES of LIGHT – Special Thanks (2009)
FINAL FANTASY XIII – Producer, Crystal Tools Development Staff (2009)
FINAL FANTASY XIV 1.0 – Crystal Tools (2010)
The 3rd Birthday – Producer (2010)
DISSIDIA 012 FINAL FANTASY – Special Thanks (2011)
FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 – Producer (2011)
FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 – Producer (2011)
THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY – Special Thanks (2012)
FINAL FANTASY ALL THE BRAVEST – Special Thanks (2013)
LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII – Producer (2013)
FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster – Producer (2013)
THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY CURTAIN CALL – Special Thanks (2014)
FINAL FANTASY VII G-BIKE – Executive Producer (2014)
FINAL FANTASY XIII – Producer (2014)
FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 – Producer (2014)
FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster – Special Thanks (2015)
MOBIUS FINAL FANTASY – Producer (2015-present)
FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS – Special Thanks (2015)
DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY -Arcade- – Special Thanks (2015)
LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII – Producer (2015)
FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster – Special Thanks (2016)
FINAL FANTASY XV – Special Thanks (2016)
FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood – Special Thanks (2017)
FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE – Producer (TBA)
FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN – Producer (2005)
LAST ORDER -FINAL FANTASY VII- – Executive Producer (2005)
FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN COMPLETE – Producer (2009)
KINGSGLAIVE: FINAL FANTASY XV – Special Thanks (2016)