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Hitoshi Sakimoto

Overview Biography Discography Game Projects Interviews

Hitoshi Sakimoto Date of Birth: February 26, 1969 (Tokyo)
Musical Influences: Yellow Magic Orchestra, Chick Corea
General Interests: Horses, Games, Building PCs, Heavy Drinking
Instruments: Piano, Synthesizer
Game Works: Final Fantasy XII, Vagrant Story, Gradius V

Employment History

Company Tenure Role
Square 1998 - 2000 Composer
Basiscape 2002 - Founder, President, Composer

Brief Profile

After enjoying music and games during his youth, Hitoshi Sakimoto entered the games industry at the age of 16 with the comic market shooter Revolter. He created an exceptional custom sound driver that resulted in his recruitment in sound programming and sound effects for dozens of games. Thanks to his friendship with Masaharu Iwata, he was able to co-compose eminent shooters Starship Rendezvous, Magical Chase, and Shippu Mahou Daisakusen, among other projects. A turning point was his role on Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, where he produced a quasi-orchestral score for the first time and formed a relationship with Quest developer Yasumi Matsuno. With further landmark scores such as Tactics Ogre, Sword Maniac, and Soukyuugurentai, Sakimoto had established himself as a versatile and idiosyncratic composer.

In 1997, Sakimoto led the fantastical orchestral score to Matsuno's Final Fantasy Tactics, resulting in his exposure overseas and his career with Iwata diverging. In a period of musical exploration and little sound programming, Sakimoto offered an unrelenting motif-obsessed accompaniment to Radiant Silvergun, a dark ambient masterpiece for Vagrant Story, and world music fusions with Legaia 2: Duel Saga. In October 2002, he established the game music production company Basiscape with Masaharu Iwata and Manabu Namiki. Initially dedicated to promoting independent artists, Sakimoto focused on several major projects during the first few years of its existence — Breath of Fire V, Perfect Prince, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Stella Deus, and Gradius V — though administrative responsibilities limited his time.

On 2006's Final Fantasy XII, Sakimoto offered an exuberant symphonic score later downgraded for its DS sequel. In the last two years, Sakimoto has redefined Basiscape to become the most productive game music production company. This has resulted in the employment of five more composers and increased capacity for administrative tasks, sound programming, sound effects creation, and voice editing. On projects such as Grim Grimoire, Odin Sphere, Deltora Quest: The Seven Jewels, Coded Soul, and Elminage, Sakimoto created several promotion-worthy major themes while secondary members of his company handled most of the rest. Sakimoto nevertheless scored much of A.S.H., Final Fantasy Tactics A2, and Opoona while dabbling in non-game projects such as vocal album Colors of Life and the animes Romeo X Juliet and The Tower of Druaga.

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