Takashi Kiryu is the new CEO of Square Enix, and he’s not just some corporate suit. Kiryu has been playing games since he was a little kid, and he recently shared a story of his childhood that many of us can connect with.

While Kiryu might be the CEO of Square Enix now, he was just a kid interested in games back in 1987. Kiryu was extremely eager to get his hands on the just-released Final Fantasy, so he did some extra work for the family in order to get the game in exchange. You can see Kiryu talk about the experience in the video above at the 14:48 mark, or you can read his comments below.

“I had to get my hands on the big new thing, so as a reward for helping my parents pick oranges, and after begging them for an early Christmas gift, my father bought me the very first Final Fantasy.

Right off the bat, I was surprised. No title screen! Just some story text. I started to wonder if maybe my father had bought the wrong game! But I got to playing, and kept playing, and eventually I left the castle and crossed the bridge and then, the screen changed. That music, that moment, when the title appears, that surprise, that delight, is still seared into my memory.

From then on, I was hooked. I was a Final Fantasy fan for life. Whenever a new title came out, I had to make time to play. Forget homework, forget eating, forget sleeping! I sleep in class anyway. While my friends got into sports or other activities, I was focused on games. I had more than a few teachers tell me, if you play games all the time, you are not going to succeed in life. But! They [will be] very surprised to see me standing on this stage with you!”

[Takashi Kiryu, Square Enix CEO]

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