One of the most influential video game creators of all time, Hironobu Sakaguchi almost gave up before he got started. While an electrical engineering student at Yokohama National University, he became fascinated by games designed for the Apple II computer and spent hours playing them, eventually dropping out in 1983 to pursue game design. Hired by the newly formed company Square Inc., Sakaguchi designed their first two computer game releases, 1984's Cold War adventure "The Death Trap" and the following year's sequel. Square decided to enter the burgeoning market for games designed specifically for video game consoles, but its initial attempts were unsuccessful. Frustrated, Sakaguchi vowed to design one last video game and complete his degree if it didn't sell well. The result was 1987's role-playing fantasy "Final Fantasy," which initially sold 400,000 copies. Sakaguchi directed the next four installments of the franchise before retreating into video game producing. To date, the "Final Fantasy" games have sold more than 80 million copies worldwide, making them a massive success. The games' success was in large part attributable to their increasingly sophisticated visuals, as Sakaguchi became interested in making "Final Fantasy" as cinematic as possible. The logical extension of this was his sole effort as a film director, 2001's animated spin-off "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within." The product of four years of labor, the photo-realistic movie was a massive box-office flop, and Sakaguchi has stuck to his original medium since then.