Microsoft signs Final Fantasy developer

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Microsoft has hired the creator of the popular Final Fantasy video game to develop games exclusively for the next Xbox.

Hironobu Sakaguchi, president of Japan-based Mistwalker game studio, has agreed to develop two games for the next version of Microsoft's video-game console.

Microsoft Game Studios will publish the new titles.

"Mr Sakaguchi has taken role-playing games -- traditionally a niche market -- and introduced them to a broad and diverse audience across the globe," Peter Moore, corporate vice-president of worldwide marketing and publishing at Microsoft, said in a statement.

The Japanese game developer is best known as the creator of the Final Fantasy franchise, which has sold more than 60 million units worldwide.

Sakaguchi was inducted into a US Academy of Interactive Arts & Science Hall of Fame in 2000 for his work on Final Fantasy.

Sakaguchi formed Mistwalker in 2004.

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