Tri-Ace Lead Programmer, Yuichiro Kitao Leaves The Company

By Sato . May 9, 2013 . 7:08pm


tri-Ace’s Yuichiro Kitao, best known for his programming work on the Star Ocean series, has announced his departure from the company after 14 years in a series of Tweets.


“I, Yuichiro Kitao, have decided to leave tri-Ace starting on the 12th of May,” Kitao wrote on Twitter. “It’s been 14 years and some months since I first entered the company. It’s been a substantial 14 years full of memories, which now feels much shorter, as I devoted myself to work earnestly.”


He continued: “I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity of making the tri-Ace games you all loved and having worked with many great staff members who took great care of me. Many years have passed since my dreams of working in the gaming industry have come true. I’d like to keep chasing after my dreams and have them come true, and will continue doing so as I leave behind footsteps, one step at a time.”


Kitao concluded: “Now, I still have some ways to go. Starting this Spring, I will do my best to start from the beginning! Thank you very much for everything. Furthermore, I’d like to thank you for your continued support. I’ll be making games and other stuff until the day I die!!”


In recent years, tri-Ace have primarily helped other companies develop games based on their properties. They helped Square Enix with Final Fantasy XIII-2 and worked on The Little Battlers W with Level 5. Their most recent original game was Beyond the Labyrinth, a dungeon crawler released for 3DS in 2012.


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  • So he didn’t say why he left and what he’s gonna do next? I wonder if he just isn’t satisfied with the direction of the company? Resonance of Fate was basically the last true tri-Ace production. After that they’ve been doing contract work for other companies, a first-person dungeon crawler, and a turn-based Monster Hunter clone. Not exactly things I would’ve associated with tri-Ace coming into this generation, but it’ll be what I associate with them coming out of it.

    Here’s hoping they’ll have more systems-heavy action/strategy games on next-gen systems. They did show off that new engine, after all, so you’d think they’re actually gonna use it at some point.

  • thethingexe

    Hope this doesn’t delay the next Valkyrie Profile.

    • MogCakes

      Is there a new VP coming out? :O

  • Warboss Aohd

    when i first read dis i dispaired, az Tri Ace Makez some great games (Star Ocean 2 was what piqued my interestin in JRPGs, though Suikoden 2 solidified it), but then i thought about it…….dis meanz he could get a fresh start elsewhere…….perhapz dis iz a good fing.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      I would hope, Sir Orc. If I am picking one game to take with me forever, it might just be SO2. Grandia or Panzer Dragoon Saga may still be ahead of it on my pure top 5 list, but SO2 will always be there — and should let me find some new ending until the day I fricking die.

      • SO2 is really great, and I love to reply it every few years, but my god that slog of an intro…

        • AndreasStalin

          yeah i know took ages to get going, but after that its really moving. Awesome game.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Yes. I guess if you were a Japanese player back then it might not have been so bad if you had been a fan of the first game.

          But if you are playing as Claude all we learn through that overblown exposition is your MC is a mack daddy — and a fricking idiot. Which for 90s era JRPG heroes was a given from the time one purchased the game.

          • I was aware of who Ronixis was–my main beef was after the extended introductory scene, having to run around town meeting everybody for 2 hours… Things do kick into high gear and stay there with Rena’s kidnapping, but those first few hours are always difficult for me.

  • Duc PC-QB

    Does this mean no more Valkyrie and Star Ocean ???


    • Solomon_Kano

      Doubtful. He’s one programmer, lead or no, the rest of the company can still make VP and SO games. Not that they’ve made a VP game in ages anyway.

  • Cerzel

    Bugger. All I hear about tri-Ace lately is bad news.

  • Learii

    so that mean no more star ocean? =x

  • NightzeroAX

    Real Talk, I’m going to cry if this means no more Star Ocean or Valkyrie Profile.

  • Bojan Njegomir

    It’s obvious that he is not happy with the way tri-Ace is working lately. As you all mentioned Resonance Of Fate was their last true next gen game and afterwards nothing, and that was years ago. He probably feels that he is not doing what he loves, and that is making games! I wish him all the best and i also wish that tri-Ace will come back to what they do the best!

  • Carabutifarra

    Sad day.

  • Kai2591

    I want a new star ocean~
    A better one!
    or something like star ocean.
    The battle system was so addictive :)

  • CirnoLakes

    I don’t think he was a part of the Wolf Team I adore so much. But no matter, he worked on great games. And anyone who worked among people who were in the original Wolf Team, people I adore the work of so much, must be a great man.

    I’ll always love the original Wolf Team and everyone who continues on their legacy. I’ll never forget Tales of Phantasia or the original Star Ocean. I’m always reminded of that every time I see Tri-Ace. And from what little I know of him, he did some pretty great things for Tri-Ace.

    I hope that Kitao goes on to do great things. Keep that wolf spirit in you and make great games. I believe in you.

  • cloudcaelum

    Rip Tri-Ace, we will miss you, how can i forget PS2 times and your awesome games…

  • Heath Bunch

    Dang….I was hoping the little Tri-Ace logo on the Playstation Meeting meant someone was giving them another shot at their own game, but if their lead programmer is leaving, this doesn’t bode well for my hopes. I blame space being full of nightmares on this!

  • This makes Magius sad. It’s likely some of Tri-Ace’s battle systems won’t be the same without him.

  • Kioku

    I still believe in Star Ocean 5!

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