Yousuke Shiokawa, the director of the massively successful free-to-play Fate/Grand Order, has left his executive position as creative officer at Delightworks just as its game division was spun off and is set to be acquired by Sony-owned Aniplex.
Bloomberg reports that Shiokawa left Delightworks in late January to found his own independent studio. The game division Aniplex will acquire includes the Fate/Grand Order.
To date, Fate/Grand Order has grossed over $4 billion, making it a massive success among free-to-play Japanese games. The franchise has been adapted into anime, manga, and even stage productions and an arcade version. It’s a huge hit.
Shiokawa directed “Chapter 1: Observer at the Timeless Temple” and “Chapter 1.5: Epic of Remnant” of Fate/Grand Order.
The game originally debuted in July 2015. By August of that year, things were not going well for the then recently-released Fate/Grand Order. Repeated game maintenance was impacting the player experience. According to Toyo Keizai, then Square Enix president Yoichi Wada introduced Shiokawa to the president of Delightworks. Shiokawa began offering advice about the game and was inevitably offered a position at the game company. His work on Fate/Grand Order was instrumental in turning the game around and helping to create the massive success that exists today.
Previously, Shiokawa had worked at Square Enix, which he joined in 2000. While there, he directed Murdered: Soul Suicide and worked on Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II, and Dissidia Final Fantasy, among other games.
“I plan to focus my career on creating new game franchises for any platform, regardless of their size,” said Shiokawa about his new gaming venture. “Going independent opens up many opportunities to partner with other companies.”
His new indie studio is called Fahrenheit 213 and, for now, is owned one hundred percent by Shiokawa.