24 Facts About Akitoshi Kawazu


Akitoshi Kawazu is a Japanese game designer, director, producer and writer.


Akitoshi Kawazu has since worked on nearly every SaGa title, in addition to creating the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles subseries, smaller projects including The Last Remnant, and serving in an executive role on multiple Square Enix projects.


Akitoshi Kawazu has a deep involvement in each project beyond his credited roles, and tries something new with each game he develops.


Akitoshi Kawazu was born on November 5,1962 in Oguni, a town in Aso District, Kumamoto Prefecture.


Akitoshi Kawazu studied and graduated from Kumamoto Prefectural High School, then later studied at the Science School of the Tokyo Institute of Technology.


Akitoshi Kawazu was scheduled to enter a job with Sony from the Science School, but due to unspecified circumstances in his private life he was forced to drop out.


Akitoshi Kawazu's first game-related job was as a part-time journalist for Beep, a general gaming magazine published by SoftBank, at the invitation of a school friend.


Akitoshi Kawazu started out writing product reviews, and during his time with the magazine he gained exposure to games and the video games industry.


Akitoshi Kawazu was interviewed first by Hiromichi Tanaka, then by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and Kawazu was taken on as a part-time employee in 1985.


At the time, Akitoshi Kawazu had no idea how popular the title would become; his role was designing the battle system.


Akitoshi Kawazu returned as battle designer for its sequel Final Fantasy II.


Akitoshi Kawazu subsequently worked on Final Fantasy Legend II, then upon request from Nintendo started production on Romancing SaGa for the Super Famicom; another production team in Osaka designed a third Game Boy title without his involvement.


Akitoshi Kawazu would continue working on SaGa titles for the Super Famicom, and multiple PlayStation titles for the next several years.


When production was halted due to internal issues surrounding PlayOnline, Akitoshi Kawazu's team switched to supporting production for The Bouncer and developing multiple WonderSwan Color titles including original titles and ports.


The 2002 SaGa title Unlimited Saga was designed based solely around Akitoshi Kawazu's tastes, using his position within the company to get his way.


Akitoshi Kawazu created the concept for the anime series Final Fantasy: Unlimited during this period, which originally had a narrative link to Unlimited Saga.


From 2004 to 2007, Akitoshi Kawazu served as one of Square Enix's board of directors alongside Yoichi Wada and Yosuke Matsuda.


Akitoshi Kawazu was the only game developer among them, and returned to development following his resignation from the board.


Akitoshi Kawazu played a key creative role in The Last Remnant, a standalone RPG designed by veterans of the SaGa series.


Akitoshi Kawazu acted as concept creator for It's New Frontier, a life simulator for mobile devices which ran from 2009 to the close of Square Enix's old mobile services in 2018.


Akitoshi Kawazu is noted in his game design for using mechanics seen as unconventional in the RPG genre, such as usage-based ability leveling, non-linear storytelling, and open worlds or similar freely-explorable environments.


Akitoshi Kawazu's games are noted for obscured mechanics and higher-than-average difficulty, something Kawazu ascribes to his love of challenging gameplay.


Akitoshi Kawazu played with Western tabletop games in his youth, and manually translated them as they were frequently in English rather than Japanese.


When working on games, Akitoshi Kawazu often has duties and input beyond his credited role; an instance of this was SaGa Frontier II, where he was credited as producer and co-writer but ended up writing almost all the scenarios himself, but he ensures staff were given proper credit.