Hironobu Sakaguchi was born on November 25, 1962 in the Japanese city of Hitachi. Sakaguchi joined Squaresoft (later Square Enix) in 1983 after dropping out of an electrical engineering course. During the late 1980s, Square slowly spiraled into bankruptcy. Given the circumstance, the company was left with just enough money to make one final game in hopes to steer clear of the storm ahead. And so, they went to Sakaguchi whose humble, yet modest reply of "I don't think I have what it takes to make an action game. I think I'm better at telling a story" soon birthed the popular Final Fantasy series we know today. Sakaguchi gave the game the name 'Final' (quite the contrary) because he thought that it would be the last game he would ever make.
During his time at Squaresoft, Sakaguchi worked on over fifteen games as either director or producer and contributed to the development of more than ten other games. Sakaguchi became the President of Squaresoft in 1995. He was responsible for creating several Squaresoft franchises, including the Death Trap series of adventure visual novel games, the Final Fantasy series of role-playing games, and the Chrono series.
Sakaguchi directed the CG animated film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which saw a theatrical release in 2001. It was his first attempt at theatrical film direction. The film received mixed reviews from critics and bombed at the box office, losing over 120 million dollars. After the failure of the film, Square's film division was shut down; the only other film created under Square's supervision was the Tetsuya Nomura-directed Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in 2005.
Sakaguchi left Square in 2002 due to reasons that were never made clear to the public. Some believe that he was forced out of the company by the board of directors following the massive financial loss incurred by the failure of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
Between 2002 and 2004 Sakaguchi formed Mistwalker, where he started working on Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey. Blue Dragon was released in Japan in 2006 and Lost Odyssey was released in Japan in late 2007. The company has also produced several titles for the Nintendo DS for various publishers. The company's most recently released work, The Last Story, was published by Nintendo for the Wii in early 2011. During the game's production, Sakaguchi provided regular updates on the game's progress on the Mistwalker website.
- His personal blog over at his company site, Mistwalker, reveals that he has a fondness for photography, legos and even surfing.
- The character Master Eraqus, who appears in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, bears a strong resemblance to Sakaguchi. Like the Disney character Yen Sid, whose name is "Disney" spelled backwards, "Eraqus" is an anagram of Square.
- Final Fantasy IX is his favourite game in the series.
- His favourite Final Fantasy class job is Dancer.