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Ha­jime Ta­bata’s route to lead­ing Square Enix’s flag­ship game has been cir­cuitous, to say the least. He joined Tecmo af­ter univer­sity, and worked on the likes of Cap­tain Tsub­asa and Mon­ster Rancher 2 there. In the early 2000s, he moved to Square, first making mo­bile games such as Be­fore Cri­sis: Fi­nal Fan­tasy VII (2004) and then por­ta­ble spinoffs such as PSP Par­a­site Eve chap­ter The 3rd Birth­day (2010). The highly rated FF Type-0 fol­lowed in 2011, and Ta­bata was pro­moted to FFXV lead af­ter Tet­suya No­mura de­parted, a change an­nounced in Septem­ber 2014.

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