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Hyper Light Drifter developer Teddy Dief leaves Square Enix Montreal

Hyper Light Drifter developer Teddy Dief leaves Square Enix Montreal

Teddy Dief, one of the developers of 2016 indie darling Hyper Light Drifter, has departed Square Enix.

Writing on his blog, Dief said that the project that him and his team were working on at the Japanese publisher's Montreal studio had been cancelled. Dief originally joined Square Enix Montreal 18 months ago.

"My team were working on a game that I deeply wish we could have shared with you," he wrote.

"But the business strategy of the studio shifted, and our project was sadly no longer compatible. Thankfully, the talented team remain employed and valued, assigned to other projects. Because of this shift and the loss of our project, I no longer feel this is the place for me to pursue the type of work I aspire to make - the avenues of storytelling in game design I’ve been trying to explore in my career."

Moving forward, the developer has announced his intention to remain an indie game maker and will be moving back to LA.

"It has been a privilege to direct at Square Enix, a company that has given me lifelong inspiration with Final Fantasy 7, Tactics, Super Mario RPG, and more," he said.

"I’ll still proudly celebrate its contributions to our medium this weekend at Square Bowl IV - an independent charity JRPG stream I co-organise.

"As for the future, I’m resuming full-time indie development, with new collaborations coalescing. For now I’m headed back to Los Angeles, and I plan to hug many peers at GDC. Life and work go on. We’re certainly not the first team to lose a project. I’m a thousand times more privileged than most, and grateful for every beat of this games life. I’m eager to move forward."

Picture credit: Rim AJ

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.