Yasumi Matsuno (松野 泰己, Matsuno Yasumi) is a former video game director at Square Enix (previously Squaresoft). Born in 1965, he began his career as a developer at Quest, where he created the Ogre Battle series of strategy role-playing games. After leaving Quest, he joined Squaresoft in 1995. His colleagues at Square Enix usually called him by his nickname "YAZZ". According to e-mail responses from the Square Enix Information Center, Matsuno left Square Enix on August 31, 2005, following his step-down from directing Final Fantasy XII.
At Square, Matsuno oversaw the development of Final Fantasy Tactics for the PlayStation. Similar in design and gameplay to Tactics Ogre, it was lauded for its highly intricate and convoluted story, in which a young and naive nobleman becomes embroiled in a civil war over the throne to the kingdom of Ivalice. The nobleman, Ramza Beoulve, must come to term with his own beliefs amidst a number of conspiracies involving the church, Ramza's brothers and his childhood friend Delita. Final Fantasy Tactics was re-released by Square Enix on the PlayStation Portable as Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions in 2007, including all-new computer-generated cutscenes among other gameplay additions.
After the release of Final Fantasy Tactics, Matsuno and his team began development on Vagrant Story. Smaller in scope than Tactics, in Vagrant Story players took control of one Ashley Riot, a "Riskbreaker" of the Valendia Knights of the Peace. Here the focus is more on the protagonist's personal life and past than a world-consuming conflict. As in Final Fantasy Tactics, though, the plot has considerable depth and features a number of forces conspiring to unleash an ancient power. Gameplay-wise, Vagrant Story was praised as unique and progressive because of its focus on weapon-based statistics as opposed to the character-based leveling found in typical role-playing games. The game has also been described as a "real-time strategy role-playing game" due to the unique combination of isometric camera angles, ranged attacks which vary with weapon types and lack of turn-based gameplay. Vagrant Story was highly regarded by critics and has gained somewhat of a cult following since its release.
Matsuno supervised Square's development of PlayOnline, the system that was developed primarily to function as the company's gateway to online games most notably Final Fantasy XI, prior the first beta test.
Final Fantasy XII was originally directed by Matsuno and Hiroyuki Itō, both of them having been handpicked by Hironobu Sakaguchi way back in 2001. Although he had to bow out of the development staff, ostensibly due to health issues, he is credited for "Story and Concept" and "Supervisor". As a tribute to his legacy, the development team of Final Fantasy XII included an optional boss in the game called Yazmat (a play on his aforementioned nickname, Yazumi Matsuno). In-game information about Yazmat (localized as Yiazmat in the North American version) is accompanied by a subtitle which reads, "Farewell to a Legend." Montblanc, who assigns the player the task of slaying Yiazmat, tells a story of how he and his moogle friends once worked with a wise leader and mentor with whom they did many wonderful things. Montblanc explains that Yazmat came along and killed that master, causing them all to break up.
|Directors and Producers|
|Hiroyuki Itō - Yoshinori Kitase - Yasumi Matsuno - Shinji Hashimoto - Hironobu Sakaguchi - Shintaro Takai - Takayoshi Nakazato - Motomu Toriyama - Toshirō Tsuchida - Kazuhiko Aoki - Akitoshi Kawazu|
|Artists and Art Directors|
|Yoshitaka Amano - Toshiyuki Itahana - Ryōma Itō - Hideo Minaba - Hiroshi Minagawa - Yusuke Naora - Tetsuya Nomura - Akira Oguro - Kaori Tanaka - Akihiko Yoshida - Airi Yoshioka|
|Sound and Music|
|The Black Mages - Nobuo Uematsu - Hitoshi Sakimoto -Eiji Nakamura - Masashi Hamauzu - Junya Nakano - Kenichiro Fukui - Kumi Tanioka - Masaharu Iwata - Máire Breatnach - Minoru Akao - Shiro Sagisu - Shirō Hamaguchi - Tsuyoshi Sekito - Takeharu Ishimoto - Yoko Shimomura|
|Alexander O. Smith - Ted Woolsey|
|Daisuke Watanabe - Takashi Katano - Takashi Tokita - Takeshi Nozue - Teruaki Sugawara - Hiroshi Kuwabara - Kazushige Nojima - Ken Narita - Koji Sugimoto|