Hironobu Sakaguchi, known to many as the "father of the Final Fantasy series," may not be actively working on the franchise anymore. But that doesn't mean he doesn't show appreciation for it.
Japanese publication Famitsu has announced that Sakaguchi will be making a return to his home – sorta – with live streaming sessions of him playing Final Fantasy VI, or, as it's known here, Final Fantasy III. It will be a four-part stream that looks back at the classic entry in the series, with the first episode set to premiere tomorrow, March 1, on both YouTube and Japanese streaming partner NicoNico.
In addition to Sakaguchi appearing on the episode, Final Fantasy VI artist Kazuko Shibuya will also show up at some point, in the hopes of stirring up even more nostalgia during its airing.
It's an interesting turnaround for Sakaguchi, coming back to the series he helped create. He originally served as director for the first five entries in the series, then switching roles to producer starting with Final Fantasy VI. He served that purpose until after the release of Final Fantasy IX, where he shifted his attention to other franchises, like Kingdom Hearts and Vagrant Story.
He would later leave the company after helming the CGI-animated film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which turned out to be a box-office bomb and forced the closure of the Square Pictures subsidiary. He would later form the studio Mistwalker, the team behind such games as Lost Odyssey and Terra Battle.
Sakaguchi later returned as part of the Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary: A Legacy of Art event, as well as during a recent Square Enix presentation surrounding the game, so it sounds like he's warming up to it again. Famitsu didn't disclose why Sakaguchi-san is taking part in the four-part Let's Play episodes, but it's nice to see him returning to action.
That's not to say that he'll be working on a Final Fantasy project in the future – at least, not that we know of. But still, it's nice to see that he's coming back for some classic gameplay sessions – something the fans will highly appreciate.