Former Tales of Producer On Joining Square Enix, Going Back To Fantasy Roots With New IP


53e79d1ffb9784b71242a14d124710db We recently learned that longtime Tales of series producer Hideo Baba has joined Square Enix’s newly-established studio, Studio Istolia. He shared more details about how he joined the company as well as the new IP, Project Prelude Rune, in an interview in this week’s issue of Famitsu magazine. [Thanks, Hachima.]


  • In his former work, Baba was entrusted with a major IP, but while looking at business development aside from games he felt that it was time to pass the torch to the younger generation, and decided to time his resignation during a turning point.


  • After thinking about how many more games he’ll be able to make, Baba felt the need to take on another challenge with a powerhouse that has plenty of RPGs. He then knocked on Square Enix’s door in October of last year.


  • Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda said “I want him to work on a new IP while excavating new talent at the same time.”


  • “Studio Istolia” is a company with a group of craftsmen who make stories. That’s the meaning of the name.



  • Istolia’s mascot character is designed by Toshiyuki Itahana who worked on the Chocobo series. It still doesn’t have a name.


  • Personally speaking, Baba would like to see this mascot character appear in a future title.


  • In the game he’s currently working on right now, Baba wants to express the world with “kindness” and “warmth.” Rather than having a bloodthirsty atmosphere of some sort, he wants to make it into a game that will make you say “I want to hurry up and jump into that warm world.”


  • He wants its representation to come from familiar anime and comics that he had as a child.


  • He wants to make a straight-forward fantasy RPG, by going back to the roots of fantasy and it is something he’s currently designing. A world that features the likes from Norse mythology, dwarves, elves, and all kinds of different races.


  • The “Baba-esque” sense you see in the growth of characters and strong messages, which we’ve all seen in the Tales of series, is something he doesn’t want to change.


  • A release period couldn’t be shared today.


  • The platform has yet to be decided, but Baba has a strong desire for it to be for console. However, if there’s a chance for business, then he’d like to check out various platforms, including smartphone.


  • And of course, he’d like to take on the challenge of bringing the game overseas.
Gamer, avid hockey fan, and firm believer in the heart of the cards.