A major name has decided to part ways with Square Enix. Kazuya Niinou, the director of the Dragon Quest spinoff series Dragon Quest Builders, made the announcement that he has left the company via Twitter. The tweet states, as translated by Gematsu, “With development on Builders 2 completed, I have left Square Enix. To Naoki Yoshida, Noriyoshi Fujimoto, Takuma Shiraishi, all of my colleagues, and everyone who enjoyed the games I made, thank you so much! I truly appreciate your support”
— 新納一哉 (@Nino_Kazuya) August 23, 2019
In a followup statement, Niinou continued with saying after seven years working at Square Enix he wanted to experience a different development cycle compared to the company’s as he was starting to experience burn out over the course of the development of Dragon Quest Builders 2 which released late last year in Japan and last month worldwide. However, though Niinou is leaving Square Enix, he stated that he will still “watch over” Dragon Quest Builders 2 as he is still working with the company in an external capacity.
It does appear Niinou’s next career path has already been decided as well. He stated on Twitter that he plans to discuss his next endeavor at some point next week, and told fans he will do his best and to look forward to what he does next.
It will be interesting to see what’s next for the Dragon Quest Builders series. Though Niinou stated that though he is still working as an external staff member on Dragon Quest Builders 2, that doesn’t mean additional content will still necessarily come to the game. With Square Enix currently working on a mobile AR Dragon Quest spinoff and preparations and development beginning on the next mainline entry in the franchise, with Niinou gone from the company, it may be a while before they decide to revisit the Builders spinoffs once again.