I love Square-Enix (SE). In decades past it was a company that you could count on for its consistency: practically all of the games they released were surefire hits and amazing experiences. These days? I can still count on them for consistency… in making weird, weird decisions.
Two years ago SE floored the world by revealing they were remaking one of their most beloved games: Final Fantasy VII. You know the story by now: the JPRG that took JRPGs out of niche status, the JRPG that made JRPGs popular in the west, one of – if not the – Playstation’s most cherished games ever. There are opinions, blog posts, articles, reviews, fan projects on VII as there are stars in the sky. Lots of people have wished for a remake for years… and it was finally coming true! Hype! Excitement! Tears! Screams! Surely SE had everything set to give its flagship title/franchise the attention and care it deserved, right?
I don’t know anymore.
Where do I start? Maybe at SE spending probably more time and resources in the reveal video than what it has into the actual game itself? I dunno. Maybe? It seems? The news that the game was gonna be episodic and have gameplay more akin to Final Fantasy XV than its source material did not help, to be honest. But the news do not stop there!
It appears SE had been using external partners to work on the game, and recent news point to in-house mass recruiting of talent to work on it. I know what you are thinking: “why are they recruiting now for a game announced two years ago?” One of the wonders of the game industry is that you can announce something that doesn’t exist (and may never do) and people will still be excited. You promise air, and people will yearn to breathe it. But I digress! SE is now looking to move development in-house. Again, I know what you are thinking: “why would SE outsource what is likely the most important project on their lineup and their flagship franchise?” Well… because… um…
So now SE wants to take the reins. Ok, cool. I doubt we will get a true remake in place of the episodic abomination they’re planning but at least they are starting to take this seriously. Oh, and they have a new person at the helm. Naoki Hamaguchi, the guy in charge of Mobius Final Fantasy.
They put someone in charge of a mobile game to helm the VII Remake?
Ok… ok. Let’s be fair. We could end up being pleasantly surprised. Mobius is doing well for SE. Perhaps we are looking at another Naoki Yoshida – someone who takes charge of a Final Fantasy title and does a good job at it. I mean, let’s give the man a chance, yes? It cannot be worse than “A game per decade” Nomura, right?
RECAP TIME: Squeenix is moving all development of the Final Fantasy VII remake in-house, with a new team and new head, two years after its announcement. Popcorn is ready.
I smell Final Fantasy XV.
My final question is this: why didn’t SE just remake VII the same way Sony is remaking Crash Bandicoot? Have you seen that game? It’s the exact same thing we played all those years ago, but with current generation graphics and polish. Yeah, a dozen of you are probably coming up with reasons (good ones, at that) why SE would go the way they’re going. But that’s all I ever wanted: the same grand experience of VII looking the best it can look (and typos corrected, please) using current gen tech. I guess my dreams will remain dreams forever.
Let’s at least hope this game comes out someday in the next decade and doesn’t become vaporware. Wouldn’t want it to, like Sephiroth feared, become “just a memory”.