Longtime Square-Enix artist and character designer Akihiko Yoshida is leaving Square-Enix after 18 years.

Yoshida most famously produced the artwork for Final Fantasy Tactics, XII and Vagrant Story (among many other games) during his tenure at the company, and his sumptuous, ornate work speaks for itself. The news was announced in a new Bravely Default book out in Japan this week.

Yoshida is probably best known for his frequent medieval-set collaborations with Vagrant Story and FFXII designer Yasumi Matsuno and composer Hitoshi Sakimoto – Square is frankly all the poorer for the loss. (Matsuno previously resigned from full-time employment with the company in 2005.)

While Yoshida will no longer be part of Square-Enix staff, he said he intends to keep working with the company on Bravely Second, the Bravely Default sequel. Let’s hope afterward he reteams with Matsuno and Sakimoto for some future collaboration.

Bravely Default hits the 3DS in North America in February.

Via Tiny Cartridge