Well, say goodbye to someone who helped make Final Fantasy what it was: A top-quality, groundbreaking phenomenon.
According to Andriasang citing Famitsu, Square Enix producer and designer Hiromichi Tanaka announced at Vana Fest 2012 (to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Final Fantasy XI ) that he's leaving the company.
Sadly, Tanaka isn't just leaving to work as a "single creator" on future projects; he's also suffering from a "major illness." This is a guy whose resume includes 1984's The Death Trap and features many of Squaresoft's most critically acclaimed titles, including FFII, III, and IV, plus Xenogears and Chrono Cross . So yeah, if you're one of many who recall those days with a great fondness, you should feel some distress at Tanaka's departure. It's just another sign that the golden era of Square's greatness is long since over.
And we certainly hope his illness can be dealt with, and he can continue to work for a while.