Final Fantasy VII is the most popular Final Fantasy game of all time, but is Square ENIX keeping it alive for too long?
I was around nine years old when Final Fantasy VII came out on the PlayStation in the United States back in 1997. Many video game critics and gamers at the time regarded it as one of the best games ever made for the PlayStation. Eight more main games have come out for the series as well as several spin-off games. However, Square ENIX has kept putting Final Fantasy VII on life support for almost two decades, coasting off its immense popularity.
I love Final Fantasy VII and I consider it one of my favorite games of all time. It is also one of the games I have invested countless hours into playing and completing multiple times. Final Fantasy VII had its share of iconic gaming moments. The death of Aeris (above) is one of the saddest moments in gaming history.
The idea of a Final Fantasy VII remake has been floating around Square ENIX’s offices since the early 2000s.
The game’s storyline was one of the best ever made and kept the player engaged throughout all three discs. The difficulty was very challenging if you were set on getting literally everything in the game. It was the perfect mix of good storytelling and challenge that gamers look for in a single-player game.
Since the early 2000s, Square ENIX has sought to bring the game’s graphics up to date. The project was shelved because the leap in graphical capabilities between the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 was considered massive for its time. In 2005, Square ENIX had shown a technical demo of the game at that year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). This prompted the rumor mill to start churning that a remake would be ready by 2007 (also the game’s tenth anniversary).
Square ENIX chose to eschew the easy route of just updating the game’s graphics.
Fast forward to 2015, and the remake was in full swing. Character designer Tetsuya Nomura became the game’s director. The team could have easily created a graphically advanced Final Fantasy VII in accordance with fan wishes. Instead, Square ENIX had decided to rebuild the entire game system from scratch. Turn-based RPG battles had become passé by that time. Titles such as Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 (and later, Final Fantasy XV) had real-time battle systems. It made sense from a development viewpoint to accurately reflect the playing style of today’s gamers. The PlayStation conference at E3 2015 had confirmed the Final Fantasy VII remake. This announcement came complete with voice acting and other updates to the game.
The tidbits of information kept coming over the next three years without a release date. It was also announced that the game would be released in parts. This prompted fans to question whether or not Square ENIX was planning a cash grab of their beloved Final Fantasy VII. However, some fans remained optimistic about the remake.
Square ENIX has recently cast a cloud (pun intended) of confusion over the remake.
It may look like the remake may be further out than expected. We’re not talking about 2019 or 2020, but rather, the far-off year of 2023. This means the PlayStation 4 will be 10 years old at this point. While still a rumor, this is quite an interesting development. Fans will most likely be asking questions about the remake during next month’s E3. These questions will center around whether or not the Final Fantasy VII remake is in development (or in development hell). There also seems to be confusion on whether 2023 is the release date of all the episodes, or just the first episode itself.
While Square ENIX may be keeping the game on life support with the remake, it may be for a good reason. There is nothing wrong with wanting to bring an updated version of the game to both long-time fans and new fans. However, I think that after the remake, it might be time to let go of Final Fantasy VII for good. While the game is undoubtedly one of the best ever made, it is also time for Square ENIX to pursue new projects that could one day top Final Fantasy VII.
What do you think about the drama surrounding the Final Fantasy VII remake? Are you looking for answers at E3? Let us know in the comments below!