Masaaki Yamagiwa might be even helping with Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin’s development at Team Ninja.
Until late February, Yamagiwa worked at Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio. He left Sony’s studio a little earlier before it bit the bullet; since then, its place has effectively been taken over by Team Asobi. He was a producer on several titles, such as Bloodborne (PlayStation 4-exclusive, developed by FromSoftware, released in 2015), Deracine (PlayStation VR-exclusive, FromSoftware, 2018), and Tokyo Junge (PlayStation 3, Crispy’s/SIE Japan Studio, 2012; the PlayStation Vita got it a year later as Tokyo Jungle Mobile).
However, after he has left the Sony studio that was about to fall into a sword, we heard no information regarding where he would continue his career… until we got a seemingly unusual (although in Japan, usual) photo that was posted by Sony’s number one person that keeps the company close to indie developers. Shuhei Yoshida posted a photo on Twitter yesterday, at a little after 9 PM in Japan. Going by the time he shared the image, it was possibly an after-work drinking/relaxing session, which is common in Japanese working culture. (Or maybe there was some karaoke involved…)
He wasn’t alone. The photo also shows Fumihiko Yasuda (who happens to be the Nioh series’ director) and Masaaki Yamagiwa, with Yoshida confirming that he has joined Team Ninja. However, we don’t know what his role at his new workplace will be, but eventually, we will get some details about that.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is in development at Team Ninja, who promised to not go as hardcore with this action RPG as, say, Nioh. Square Enix will publish the game on March 18 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, PC (99% sure to include Denuvo), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) October 8, 2021