Hyper Light Drifter Developer Departs Square Enix Following Cancellation of Latest Project

Sometimes things just don’t work out when an indie developer tries working for a bigger company. [...]

Teddy Dief

Sometimes things just don't work out when an indie developer tries working for a bigger company. That's certainly the case for Hyper Light Drifter team member Teddy Dief, who announced on his blog today that he was departing from his recent stint at Square Enix Montreal.

The reason for this is that the project he was working on with his new team has been abruptly cancelled, possibly due to Square Enix's desire to move more into the "games as a service" business model.

"I have decided to leave my position as Creative Director at Square Enix Montreal, effective last Friday. Because this was such a dream role for me, I feel it bears explaining why I've given it up, especially to those who have supported and encouraged me," he explained.

Going into a bit more detail, he noted, "My team were working on a game that I deeply wish we could have shared with you. But the business strategy of the studio shifted, and our project was sadly no longer compatible. Thankfully, the talented team remain employed and valued, assigned to other projects. Because of this shift and the loss of our project, I no longer feel this is the place for me to pursue the type of work I aspire to make - the avenues of storytelling in game design I've been trying to explore in my career."

He then thanked several members of his team, before closing with, "It has been a privilege to direct at Square Enix, a company that has given me lifelong inspiration with Final Fantasy 7, Tactics, Super Mario RPG, and more. I'll still proudly celebrate its contributions to our medium this weekend at Square Bowl IV - an independent charity JRPG stream I co-organize.

"As for the future, I'm resuming full-time indie development, with new collaborations coalescing. For now I'm headed back to Los Angeles, and I plan to hug many peers at GDC. Life and work go on. We're certainly not the first team to lose a project. I'm a thousand times more privileged than most, and grateful for every beat of this games life. I'm eager to move forward."

We certainly wish Dief the best of luck on whatever he works on next.