Warning: The topic of this post has been done to death during these past few days all over the internet. Also, this post was written during a headache so it may not be logical or make sense.
Square Enix is a wonderful company. Back when it was just Square it released what would be my first foray into the legendary franchise known as Final Fantasy: IV. Later renamed Squaresoft and gems like VI, VII, VIII and so on came. They merged with Enix forming what we know today as Square Enix (SE).
They are still in the business of
saying they’re making stuff that fans wait for and love: XV and KH3 are coming, XIV is still very good and its expansion is coming next year! There is, however, one thing where SE shows a severe lack of understanding: fan expectations.
This infamous phrase has been used in forums and social networks as a joke on SE’s promises on things to come. It’s not bad that things are coming per se – which is actually good, but the fact that they keep coming… and coming… and coming… but don’t actually arrive. This weekend a new meme was born.
Anyone with a pulse about video games knows that if there’s a particular FF that’s widely regarded as a high point in the series then it’s got to be VII. I’m not saying it’s the best ever, but people know about it. During the launch of the Playstation 3 SE teased by remaking the intro sequence to VII in full 3D engine as a tech demo. It was NEVER implied that they were remaking it, but fans started speculating using a complicated math formula:
That generation came and went. Versus XIII was turned into XV and KH3 was announced to be in production (it’s not like fans have actually been wanting them to make it for the entire PS3 generation, right? /s). XIII was released and got two of the most unnecessary sequels ever. Now that the PS4 is live, the math formula has changed slightly.
People want it. It may not even be worth re-doing it, but people want it. When this weekend, during Playstation Experience, SE’s head Mr. Hashimoto said that FFVII was coming to PS4, many hearts couldn’t help but skip a beat.
Could this be it? A video showcasing memorable moments from the game. This is it! The angels in your ears were telling you to expect the images to switch to a new and improved PS4 version. Any time now. Show me
next current gen graphics running FFVII. Any… time… now. And nothing. They are re-releasing the old game for PS4 – no improvements, just upscaling as it seems to be the PC version (the one with the music issues?).
Rage, disappointment and the perpetual wonder of why SE would have such a phobic-bordering dislike of money. It’s not that people were wrongly expecting VII to be remade, but that they announced it with such fanfare that you couldn’t help but imagine it. Now we can all look at Hashimoto laughing at us forever.
Low blow, Square Enix. Fans are partly responsible for the disappointment, no question there. But re-releasing FFVII for PS4 and it not being a remake didn’t deserve time on PSX, but rather a press release or mostly a mention. Oh well, what’s done is done.
On the bright side, lately SE has seen a sort of change in some departments that preaches the benefits of sharing development with users. This could be seen in FFXIV’s Live Letters where head guy Yoshi-P would show sneak peeks of things to come, answers questions from the forums, and sometimes “leak” (intentionally) future things. This has had a positive impression on fans – so much that after years of silence the development team behind XV (and Type-0) are starting to do it as well.