A year and a half after joining Square Enix Montreal as creative director, Hyper Light Drifter lead designer Teddy Diefenbach is returning to indie development following the cancellation of his project.
“My team were working on a game that I deeply wish we could have shared with you. But the business strategy of the studio shifted, and our project was sadly no longer compatible,” Diefenbach wrote in a statement on his blog.
“Because of this shift and the loss of our project, I no longer feel [Square Enix Montreal] 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,” Diefenbach added.
The rest of the team who was working on the unannounced and now-cancelled project have all found new positions within Square Enix, including “project co-starter” Renaud Bédrad, who previously worked as a programmer on Fez.
Diefenbach is moving back to Los Angeles to pursue full-time indie development with “new collaborations coalescing.”
Square Enix Montreal is mostly known for developing mobile “Go” versions of existing franchises like Hitman, Deus Ex, and Tomb Raider. It’s unclear if we’ll ever find out what Diefenbach’s team was working on, but Hitman Go, while good in its own right, isn’t exactly the pinnacle of storytelling in video games.