When did Sakaguchi say this again? I remember him telling Tokita FF is nothing but remakes and rehashes now and he got tons of hell on saying that and people actively said they would boycott his future games cause of it, so he does say things that aren't particularly PR savy, but I don't remember him saying this.
He said in February 2012. The exact details are in the 'Reception' section of Hiroyuki Ito's Wikipedia page.
Apparently, Sakaguchi told Galvanization this in a one-on-one interview a while back in person through a translator.
Key word: apparently.
That's not exactly what happened. I was there when somebody else asked Sakaguchi this question. Because the question was already asked, when I went up to get my copy of FFXII signed, I instead reworded the question to, "Who do you think can save the FF series?" Sakaguchi replied by pointing to my copy of FFXII and saying, "The director of his game." Of course, there's every chance he could have meant Matsuno or Minagawa, so I decided to go by his reply to the other fan where he mentioned Ito by name.
Let's hope so. God forbid Motomu Toriyama and friends lay a finger on future main numbered FF's.
I have a strong feeling that Kitase/Toriyama will be involved in the first FF that uses Luminous Studio. They are the main FF team, after all.
I truly miss Ito and Ivalice :( I hope they return
You're not alone, bro.
Final Fantasy XII is a masterpiece in both game design and story.