Former Atlus/Imageepoch director now at Square Enix
Square Enix's recruiting of developers for Final Fantasy XIV has extended to some "higher" positions in other companies. This time, they've snatched up Kazuya Niinou, who had been working at Imageepoch, and Atlus prior to that. This was confirmed by his Twitter account, where he revealed he was working on FFXIV as assisstant director. This announcement was to coincide with Square Enix's Final Fantasy 25th anniversary event.
Niinou is an industry veteran, serving as director on Etrian Odyssey, 7th Dragon, Last Ranker, and Criminal Girls. He explained that his migration to Square Enix was a direct result of health issues that began to show last summer, resulting in a serious surgery involving the removal of an organ (which one was not specified). Continuing as a director in this condition could be problematic, so he chose to start over instead under FFXIV's director, Naoki Yoshida, who was given nothing but praise by the new assisstant director.
Niinou wrote, "If I get the chance, I would like to release my own game again, but for now I will give my all to Eorzea." This remark makes it apparent that if he does bring anything new to the company, it will have to wait.