Teddy Diefenbach, the creative director for Square Enix Montreal, has officially stepped down from his position and is leaving the company. “My team were working on a game that I deeply wish we could have shared with you, but the business strategy of the studio shifted, and our project was sadly no longer compatible,” Diefenbach wrote on his personal website.
He made this blog post on his personal site stating that the cancellation of his project lead him to his decision to leave the company. Diefenbach explained in the post, “Because of this shift and the loss of our project, I no longer feel this is the place for me to pursue the type of work I aspire to make – the avenues of storytelling in game design I’ve been trying to explore in my career,”
He not only expressed how he felt about the termination of his project but left a positive note to those he worked with at the company as well. “I love the gamemakers I worked with at Square Enix Montreal. They brought incredible design, craft, and style to our game.” Diefenbach, who is best known for his indie game Hyper Light Drifter, joined Square Enix Montreal back in 2016.
Although Diefenbach is leaving the studio, the rest of the team who was working on the project alongside him are still employed within the company and have been assigned to other projects. Meanwhile, Diefenbach will be heading back to Los Angeles to focus on full time indie game development. He expressed to Polygon, “It’s just as scary to go indie the second time around, but I’m grateful to all the Hyper Light Drifter players for giving me the courage to keep making hard choices to pursue the best games I can.”