Lauded designer Yasumi Matsuno joining Professor Layton and White Knight Chronicles developer Level-5.
According to Andriasang‘s translation of an interview in Famitsu, Matsuno is turning his hand from big-budget productions to smaller, rapid release titles, having been granted the opportunity and free rein to try out new ideas.
Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino is said to have personally requested Matsuno join the studio. The two had been talking of making a game together for about one year, but Hino made a strong push to secure the designer after the PSP remake of Matsuno’s Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together.
Matsuno said he shares a common vision with Hino, and finds Level-5 games appealing. His family are fond of Level-5 games like the Professor Layton and Inazuma Eleven series, whereas they don’t play games Matsuno has designed.
Although Level-5 isn’t ready to give details on Matsuno’s new project, he did comment that it gave him the same feeling he had when creating the SNES game Ogre Battle, where he was given freedom to do as he pleased.
Matsuno was a key creative behind several very highly-respected Square titles – Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story and Tactics Ogre. He officially left Square Enix in 2005 due to poor health, having stepped down from the role of director on Final Fantasy XII, which he wrote and conceptualised.