If rumours and an official LinkedIn profile are to be believed, one of the key players in Sonic Team, technical director Yoshihisa Hashimoto, has left in order to further his career in RPG developer Square-Enix.
Hashimoto is best known for his work recently in Sonic Unleashed, where he helped create the Hedgehog Engine and was the latest in the studio’s “revolving door” system to take the reins on the Sonic franchise and drag it out of the quality quagmire. Before his Director role he had a hand in many Sonic Team games since 1997, including writing enemy programming for Sonic Adventure, the Chao engine for Sonic Adventure 2 and coding tasks for Sonic Advances 1 and 2. It is believed he left Sonic Team as long ago as late April, to take a position at Square-Enix in a similar technical director capacity.
The rumour mill has been turning since GoNintendo carried the rumour, but doubters suggest that a discrepency in his LinkedIn profile (the incorrect Japanese naming of his latest work, Sonic Unleashed) could be a sign of a hoax. If true, it only throws more weight under the suggestion that Sega are seriously re-organising how they are developing and producing their Sonic titles.
We’ve contacted Sega for comment, and will update when we get a response. Thanks to the SSMB for the heads up.
UPDATE: ArchAngelUK has responded to our calls, confirming Hashimoto-san’s departure:
I can confirm that Yoshihisa Hashimoto has left SEGA to pursue another opportunity and we’d like to wish him well in his future endeavours.