Final Fantasy VII Remake - Questions & Concerns
Regardless of how you feel about the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake, it's difficult not to be concerned. Ever since its announcement in 2015, fans have been patiently awaiting news on its progress. Instead of being exciting, many of the things we've heard since then have been worrisome.
Learning that the game would not be developed in-house raised a few eyebrows. It didn't seem like it would be too much of a problem, but that's before I learned CyberConnect2 would be the studio working on it externally.
CyberConnect2 is well known for its development on the Naruto fighting games, and even though these games are well-liked, it hardly seems appropriate to give them the burden of making something this huge. They do have quite a bit of experience creating JRPG's with the .hack series, but these aren't particularly well-liked. As a fan, it was hard not to be worried for Final Fantasy VII's future.
However, halfway through 2017, Naoki Hamaguchi suddenly announced that this would no longer be the case.
“Up until now, development has progressed by receiving external collaboration, but from here on out, with production and quality in mind, we’re shifting to our in-house organization," he said. "This company decision was made wanting to control quality as well as keeping the schedule stable.”
This certainly seems suspicious for a number of reasons. Did CyberConnect2 mess something up and Square Enix wasn't happy? Or did Square Enix just want to ease the process of keeping development under check?
Either way, the biggest concern is why they decided to develop the game externally in the first place. No matter how busy they were, it shouldn't be hard to imagine how important and popular a Final Fantasy VII remake would be. Taking your greatest achievement and putting the rebirth of it into the hands of an external studio must have been a hard decision to make. To this day, I'm still curious as to what happened, although I predict we'll never learn the truth.
Additionally, it was confirmed that the title would be released in three separate episodes. Fans are incredibly curious as to what this means, as it could possibly suggest that there will be three different full priced games on the way. Hopefully this is not the case, but if it is, each of those games better be full of content. On the other hand, this might mean each episode will come in at around $19.99, having similar content to the three discs of the original game.
With all of this, there was a leak suggesting that the first episode would be released early 2019. This shouldn't come as a surprise, while it was announced halfway through 2015, this might've just been for the sake of hype. Not only that, but CyberConnect2's detachment from the series must have caused a number of delays.
Another thing that's concerning is that we haven't seen a new trailer since 2015. Although it may not seem like a big deal, something similar happened with Final Fantasy Versus XIII before it became Final Fantasy XV. Release dates were thrown around and small updates were made, but we didn't get any real news on its arrival for a number of years.
Even though there is a rumor suggesting that the Final Fantasy VII remake will release early 2019, it's probably best not to get too hopeful. It's entirely possible that we'll see another series of delays on its release. Considering all the confusing things that have happened, it wouldn't be surprising if it came out as late as 2020.
It seems as if the overwhelming expectations are hindering them. Instead of expressing their creativity freely, they're trying to please everyone by being as strict as possible with their development process.
This certainly seemed to be the case with Final Fantasy Versus XIII, as early trailers showed something wildly different from what the final product looked like. It seems like the best course of action Square Enix could take is to try to ignore the hype and do what they'd like with the title. Getting too caught up in expectations will not only make sure the game never comes out, but it might cause some great content to get cut.
Overall, we're being left in the dark on what's going on with the Final Fantasy VII remake. This is certainly strange, but it's hard not to be excited for what amazing things the game could do. Fans can only hope we get a new reveal soon, something outside of concept art and leaked release dates.