Last week, both Soichiro Koizumi and Koji Ishitani announced they left Monolith Soft on March 31st. For those who don’t know, those two have been at the company for many years, and both worked on the Project X Zone series (as Director and Producer respectively).
Soichiro Koizumi worked on games such as Namco x Capcom, Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier EXCEED, and Project X Zone, and had been at Monolith Soft for 14 years. Naturally, he doesn’t intend on leaving the industry right now, though it’s obviously way too early to say what his next project is going to be!
As for Koji Ishitani, he had been at Monolith Soft. for even longer (16 years to be precise). He worked on games such as Xenosaga Episode I, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings, Lost Ocean, Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier EXCEED, Project X Zone 2, and more.
The timing of the departures (both resigned, and were not fired) is certainly interesting: those are not your average game developers after all, and both were part of the “special” team at Monolith Soft. that worked on games for Bandai-Namco (which is pretty unusual for a first-party studio).
That would imply Nintendo has decided to make some changes at Monolith Soft, and reassign the developers from the “special” team to the “main” projects (like Xenoblade Chronicles 2). This could be because they have need of all the manpower at Monolith Soft. and/or because Project X Zone 2 wasn’t really all that successful. That would explain why a Director and a Producer both left at the same time.
Of course, this is pure speculation on our part, though unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely Nintendo will make any sort of announcement and/or statement on the matter. But if we don’t see Monolith Soft. games published by Bandai-Namco, then we will have confirmation something did happen to the “special” team.