Hyper Light Drifter Designer Hired As Square Enix Creative Director

HLD_Screenshot_01_rise_1080

Square Enix Montreal received some new staff members today from two independent studios. News broke from Teddy Diefenbach’s official website that he has taken a job as a creative director for Square Enix. For those who may not instantly recognize the name, Teddy was a lead designer for the recent release of Hyper Light Drifter.

Teddy Diefenbach mentions that he was a massive fan of the old school Squaresoft video games such as the Secret of Mana and Super Mario RPG. However, there were some reservations before he took the job. Since 2011, Teddy has fiercely become independent after leaving Disney Interactive to found Red Dragon and then joining Heart Machine.

In fact, according to the post by Teddy, he assumed that after Hyper Light Drifter was officially done, he would continue to work on some other indie title with the Heart Machine team. Although, after talking with the Square Enix team, he felt confident that the team would be able to take creative risks.

“To be perfectly honest, this opportunity blindsided me. I have been fiercely independent now since 2011 when I left Disney Interactive to found Rad Dragon and eventually join Heart Machine. I figured that after shipping Hyper Light, I’d either make a new thing with Heart Machine, or start a different indie game.

But then I met the team at Square Enix Montréal, and was amazed. I was already a massive fan of their work on Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO — brave, weird, original games, elegantly executed. This team knows how to design a small-scale game that lets them take creative risks. I’ve been indie long enough to be wary of Big Company pitfalls, but conversation after conversation convinced me that this team have created a studio that protects the creative process, with the first priority being original, valuable, beautiful work. This studio is doing it right.”

That’s not the only new member being added to the Square Enix Montreal studio. Renaud Bédard, who has worked on video games such as Fez and Below, would be a collaborator on Teddy Diefenbach’s future project. No information has been released as to what that project may be at the moment.

It’s worth pointing out that Hyper Light Drifter is still on schedule for their upcoming co-op mode and the console ports.