Legendary Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu doesn't 'have the physical and mental strength' to create full game soundtracks anymore: 'I'd rather use the time I have left to work on other projects I love'

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 17: Nobuo Uematsu performs at La Cigale on November 17, 2012 in Paris, France.
(Image credit: David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns via Getty Images)

Nobuo Uematsu, the legendary musician who composed the soundtracks for various Final Fantasy games, is done composing full soundtracks for the series. In a chat with German outlet Zeit (via VGC), Uematsu said he just doesn't have it in him to put together an entire game's soundtrack anymore.

"I don't think I'll compose music for a whole game again," said Uematsu (machine-translated from German). "You would have to give it full-throttle for two or three years. And I don't think I have the physical and mental strength to do it anymore." 

Instead, Uematsu has chosen to dedicate his time to less demanding work: "I think I'd rather use the time I have left to work on other projects that I love," like the orchestral fantasy "symphonic anime" project Merregnon or his band, Nobuo Uematsu ConTIKI.

To be fair, it's been a while since Uematsu composed an entire Final Fantasy soundtrack by himself. The last time he did so was FF9, and every following game's soundtrack has been crafted by a mash-up of various different musicians. 

He has composed a non-FF full soundtrack since then: The score for the Apple Arcade game Fantasian, whose soundtrack comprised 60 full pieces. But in statements around that release, he indicated that health issues might make it his life's final full game score. That now sounds more certain than ever.

Which is a shame, since Uematsu's contribution to videogame music is enormous, and so significant it took PCG some time to whittle down his nine greatest musical moments. But chin up, because it doesn't mean he's totally done. For instance, he composed the main theme for Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Rebirth, and I'd be shocked if Square Enix doesn't ask him to step up to bat once again for the third entry in the FF7 remake trilogy.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.