The director of the Dragon Quest Builders series has announced that he is leaving Square Enix after feeling "burned out" by the production of Dragon Quest Builders 2.
Kazuya Niinou has worked on numerous video games since 2003, including Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak, Etrian Odyssey, Trauma Center: Under the Knife, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, 7th Dragon, and Last Ranker. Niinou is best-known for his work with some of Square Enix's biggest properties, as he was an assistant director on Final Fantasy XIV and has directed both of the Dragon Quest Builders games.
It seems that Niinou's time at Square Enix has come to an end, as he has announced on Twitter that he is retiring from the company. Niinou mentioned that the reason why he was leaving the company was due to being "burned out" by the development of Dragon Quest Builders 2. Niinou had nothing but nice things to say about the Square Enix staff that he worked with on the game and talked about how he cherished his experience of working with Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii. Niinou said in a follow-up tweet that he will be discussing his upcoming career plans next week.
ご報告。ビルダーズ２の開発終了をもちまして、スクウェア・エニックス社を退職いたしました。吉田さん、ふじのりさん、白石さん、同僚のみんな、そして、自分の作ったゲームを楽しんでくださった皆さん、本当にありがとうございました！まずはお礼まで。— 新納一哉 (@Nino_Kazuya) August 23, 2019
The departure of Niinou means that the series will need a new director if Dragon Quest Builders 3 enters development. The first two Dragon Quest Builders games were set in the same world as their respective Dragon Quest games. Dragon Quest Builders 3 would be set in the same world as Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation, which just happens to be one of the most popular entries in the series. It's doubtful that Square Enix would miss out on the chance to create a new game that is connected to Dragon Quest 3, so it's likely that the series will continue under a new director.
Dragon Quest Builders and Dragon Quest Builders 2 were both phenomenal games that did new things with the Minecraft formula, while also staying true to the roots of the series that inspired them. If Kazuya Niinou announced his retirement from the industry next week, then those two games will have made for excellent final entries in his career.