Bravely Default Character Designer Explains Why He Left Square Enix

By Sato . December 11, 2013 . 5:30pm

After having worked 18 years with Square Enix, Akihiko Yoshida, known for his character design on titles such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, recently left the company. During an interview with Famitsu magazine, the artist explained his reason for resigning.


“Around the end of September, I had resigned from Square Enix, but for Bravely Second, I am working on it as a freelancer,” shares Yoshida, who is the character designer for both Bravely Default and its recently announced sequel.


“As for the reason I resigned—I had always wanted a job where I could do both, develop games and draw. However, in recent years, those responsible for making games have more duties that require much more time, and after thinking about my desire to be in an environment that allows me to challenge more subjects, it resulted in my decision to resign, so I would no longer be bound by a company.”


Yoshida reveals, “As for Bravely Second, [producer] Asano had spoken to me prior to my resignation, and it’s a title that I personally have been wanting to do, so I went ahead and agreed to work on it.”


He adds, “While I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished too much thus far, after Final Fantasy III’s remake and Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, this series [Bravely Default] gives me a great sense of fulfilment.”


Bravely Second is in development for Nintendo 3DS, and it is currently 30% complete.

Read more stories about & & & on Siliconera.

  • Detrimont

    Now i want to see what he’ll do outside of Squenix games( maybe they’ll get him to do a BD manga)

    • Kaetsu

      I think it would be cool if he worked for Atlus, Monolith or Intelligent Systems.

      • Ethan_Twain

        I’m not sure I see too many of Nintendo’s IP benefiting so much from this specific artist – Nintendo’s games usually have a really strong artistic identity already. I would absolutely love to see him working with Atlus though. Atlus’ SMT and Persona art is best in class, but I feel like a lot of their other projects lack a distinctive style. Games like Radiant Historia, Code of Princess, or even Etrian Odyssey – these are all games that I think would have benefited a lot from an art upgrade.

        • no one

          >Etrian Odyssey
          I must interject–NO.
          That is all.

          • Ethan_Twain

            I dunno, I never got all that much out of the character art in those games. The creature design is actually much better than many other RPGs, but the portraits you choose from to fill out your party have never inspired much enthusiasm from me.

        • kylehyde

          maybe he could be hired for golden sun 4 (just a wish).

          • Ethan_Twain

            That’s an excellent thought. It’s not a franchise Nintendo brings out often so I didn’t think of it, but those games are absolutely games that fit within this guy’s experience and lack terribly distinct art direction. That would be a totally excellent pairing if it could happen.

          • Suicunesol

            I don’t see what’s wrong with Golden Sun’s current artist. >_> I think the style is quite distinct. The only reason I would agree to such a pairing would be if the previous artist was no longer available.

        • Exkaiser

          I’m going to have to politely disagree with the point about Etrian, too. I think the current art style is quite distinctive, and signature of the series. Moreover- and more importantly- I don’t think Yoshida’s particular aesthetic would fit the aesthetics of the series. Etrian fancies bright colors and chunky linework, while Yoshida’s art- even his personal art- is very subdued with elegant lines and muted palettes. If he did the character designs, I think they’d also have to change the monster and interface design to match… which would all be hamstringing to both the series and the artist.

          Etrian has a very tight aesthetic overall- the character, monster, and environment art, as well as the UI and sound design (and the gameplay!) is all very deliberate – similar to how Bravely Default or 4HoL also have very deliberate aesthetics. I don’t think you could just alter part of the art and still have the same cohesive product.

          It’s fine if you don’t care for the art, I’m just sayin’ I don’t think it’s worth replacing.

          You know what Atlus property I would like to see Yoshida work with? Last Bible. It’s never really had a strong aesthetic, unlike the other branches of Megaten, and I’d love to see a revival.

      • Detrimont

        maybe a new SMT ip if he did his art like he did for vagrant story

  • XypherCode

    Best of luck to him. :)

  • Neophoton

    Hopefully he stays on board for more than just B2nd, the Bravely Default series wouldn’t be the same without him.

    Otherwise, I’ll always follow Yoshida where his work takes him. He’s one of my favorite artists in the gaming industry. :D

    • J_Joestar

      sounds like he is more than willing to keep coming back to help on it so long as they ask him to.

    • Ric Vazquez

      Couldn’t agree more

  • Kaetsu

    Well best of luck to Yoshida and I hope he ends up getting employed at another great company. Sadly with him and Yasumi Matsuno gone, I feel like we won’t see another FF Tactics :(

  • Slayven19

    Well this is for the better I’d say. I guess he won’t have a safe income anymore but at least he has a chance to do more now.

    • todal

      He’s doing work for Knights of Glory, a (you guessed it) mobile game on mobage. He’ll have money rolling in for quite a while, I imagine.

      • KnifeAndFork

        Yeah right

  • kylehyde

    i wish him the best of the world. I’m glad to hear that he still is goint to support the Bravely series (at least the second game) and I hope he finds what he wants

  • Draparde

    i’ll miss his art for XIV. i can only hope they get someone nearly as good as him to me

    • J_Joestar

      well they could still hire him as a freelancer rather than a direct company employee.

      • Draparde

        Yeah, i actually read he’s still doing XIV stuff on their fourms. :)

  • Kuromadou

    is he still working for ARR ? ._.

  • Romancer Ecclesia

    I’m speculating… Project Phoenix.

  • DanielGearSolid

    Basically he wants to be a mercenary… BadAss

  • reylth


  • InfectedAI

    Glad to see he wants to do more than just what’s safe. Can’t wait to see what comes out of him. Especially now that he’ll be collaborating with other studios. Hopefully something completely unexpected.

    • Yause

      Companies like DeNA and CyGames are throwing money at veteran artists. It’s actually a great time to branch out.

  • Randgriz

    I think this is great, Akihiko is a great artist and him being freelance must be pretty liberating for him. Also this means well see more of his art in different enviroments, which im excited to see.

  • Stuart Nisbet

    Do people really think he’s leaving one overbearing japanese developer to join another? No one in their right mind would leave a cushy job at Square Enix for the vague hope of pursuing one at atlus, especially not someone with such a unique art style as Yoshida or Amano. He’s leaving to freelance and work on his art, that’s all. I know people in the west think that by making smartphone games (and games they personally do not like), Square Enix are automatically satan, but in Japan they’re still quite a revered developer and one of the last standing main JRPG developers. They’re not declining, he isn’t jumping ship.

    • KnifeAndFork

      They are declining just look at their sales and yes mobile phone apps are cheap cash ins

  • Seven of The Scions

    Thank God it’s actually a Good reason.

    I’m so looking forward for your next project.
    i support you all the way!

  • カルロ ランバルディ

    That guy has done some awesome work! He’s my favorite artist squeenix has ever worked with other than Amano! I can’t believe he feels that way about his career so far. He’s probably comparing himself to belts and zipper boy who started as an artist and ended up directing.

  • 1Truth

    I still have my fingers crossed that Hiroyuki Ito has chosen him to be the character designer of FFXVI.

  • Samsara09

    the guy has guts.And thoise types don’t back down till they win.Good luck,sir Yoshida.

  • frumpus

    Just like composers, now character designers are going down the path of freelancing. Which is probably a good thing.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos