By Joseph Leray
Veteran role-playing game designer Yasumi Matsuno has announced his retirement from Professor Layton developer Level-5 Inc. He tweeted the following announcement, as spotted by Gematsu:
“I’d like to formally announce my departure from Level-5, effective last month. With my work on the domestic and overseas version of my latest 3DSWare game, it was good timing for me to step down and take a short break in order to recharge for my next project. My deepest thanks to everyone at Level-5 and everyone playing our games for your continued support.”
The game he’s referring to is Crimson Shroud, a tabletop-style RPG and part of Level-5’s Guild01 compilation. Guild01 is a series of downloadable titles designed by some of Japan’s most successful and interesting devs, including Goichi Suda (Killer7, No More Heroes), Yoot Saito (Seaman), and Matsuno himself. The compilation was recently released on North American and European 3DS eShops, and there are plans for Guild02 already in the works.
Matsuno is famous for his work at Square Enix, particularly for designing Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Final Fantasy XII, but he joined Level-5 in June 2011. The trailer for Crimson Shroud suggests that it falls in line with Matsuno’s other work: moody and mysterious, with a distinctive, baroque art style.
Matsuno hasn’t commented on his immediate plans or future projects, but a return to Square Enix doesn’t seem impossible: he worked with the Final Fantasy publisher as recently as last year, when he was credited as the director of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together.