“Accompanying a change in Studio Istolia management policies, I’m announcing that I resigned as representative director in December 2018 to make room for the next generation. Also, in March 2019, I resigned from Square Enix,” said Baba in a statement via Famitsu.
Baba had originally joined Square Enix in 2017 to head up a new initiative known as Studio Istolia. Before joining Square Enix, Baba produced games in the “Tales” series at Bandai Namco. The “Tales” games are a long-running series of role-playing titles that have produced titles like “Tales of Symphonia” and the most recent title, 2016’s “Tales of Berseria.” The series first began in 1995 and has since spawned sixteen main entries and multiple spin-off games, including anime series, manga, and other multimedia projects.
“The aim of the studio is to provide unforgettable stories that will inspire players in their own lives, and bring new game experiences to everyone around the world,” said Square Enix of Studio Istolia in 2017, when it was first announced.
When Baba left Studio Istolia, the outfit was currently at work on a new role-playing title called “Project Prelude Rune.” It’s not totally clear at this point what Baba’s departure means for the game, as there haven’t ben any updates about the title for quite some time.
“Thank you again to Square Enix Group for giving me a variety of experiences,” said Baba. “From now on, I would like to support you in the dark, and I sincerely hope for the further development of the Square Enix Group.”
Square Enix has not formally commented on the matter.