Why there will NOT be a Final Fantasy 7 Remake in the foreseeable future

Why there will NOT be a Final Fantasy 7 Remake in the foreseeable future
(for the PS3 and XBOX 360 anyway)

You want one.  I want one.  If Square-Enix got off their ass and made one, they would probably make more money than they ever did before.  But it isn’t going to happen.  Final Fantasy 7 when it came out was called “perhaps the greatest game ever made.”  The idea of a Final Fantasy 7 Remake for the PS3 has circled the internet in countless forums, YouTube and internet articles.  But any claims that they are going to ACTUALLY make one are usually based on wishful thinking and rumors.  This myth has gone on far enough.

Personally, it is getting tiresome to see so many fans looking for any scrap of information regarding an FF7 remake as you surf the internet.  Any time you listen to a remix of a Final Fantasy song on YouTube for example, there are at least 3 comments asking if it is part of a remake.  There are fan-made game menus, fan-made covers to a PS3 remake, fan-made mods to the original game.  Now that’s there is Photoshop, a lot of Hi-Res 3D Pictures of characters thanks to the underwhelming movie Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children are abundant, and many fans of the series with programming skills make some battle scenes and menus, and sadly, these have been cited as evidence for a remake.  So instead of looking for official trailers, official advertisements or official news, their hopes are stoked by fan made AMVs and tidbits of things made for different purposes.

Sadly, people don’t use their brains when they want something so badly.  They look around and see remakes of games like Super Mario Bros Wii, and even the remakes of the first six Final Fantasy games, and then assume that it’s entirely possible to make a Final Fantasy 7 remake with crystal clear graphics, voice acting, remastered scenes, all new bosses, and a new mix of One Winged Angel. I’m getting anxious just typing about it.  But Final Fantasy 7 is not a simple platformer that can merely copied and have its graphics updated a little like a Mario Game.  Nor is it like the GBA and NDS ports of the 2D Final Fantasy games.  Final Fantasy 7 is not a book that can just be reprinted.  To make a Playstation 3 or XBOX 360 remake, you would have to create new environments, new monsters, new character models, new music, new voice acting, etc.  The game engine itself would have to be redone.  Would the camera be static as it was in the original game?  Or will it follow you as it did in Final Fantasy X, or FF7: Dirge of Cerberus?  Questions like this would have to be answered.  This would take years.

Without the company spending a good part of 4 or 5 years on it, there can be no 3D remake of Final Fantasy VII.  What there can be is a port to the PSP or the Playstation Network (the latter has already been done).  This is easier to do and much cheaper to accomplish.  To port a game to the PSP requires not nearly as much coding as making a game from scratch does, and to essentially upload the game to the internet and download it onto your PS3 takes virtually no effort at all.  But as we will see, there isn’t even any evidence that FF7 will be ported to the PSP!

Square-Enix staff like Yoshinori Kitase (Producer of FFXIII and Director of FFVII) and President Yoichi Wada are constantly grilled by eager interviewers about the possibility of a remake.  Articles generally don’t cite the words of Kitase, Final Fantasy XIII director Motomu Toriyama or Tetsuya Nomura: the people who actually make the games and are in charge of their production.  They cite the president Yoichi Wada, who isn’t really involved with making the games.  He is only there to make sure that the company doesn’t go bankrupt.  For the past ten years, his strategy has been to merge with other gaming companies in order to increase the number of programmers and designers working for the company, in order to “increase the skill set” of the company and approach many more demographics with games.  He is not personally involved with the games.  If they do cite, Kitase and the others, they are usually quote mines.  But even Wada has never EXPLICITLY said there will be a remake.

A good way to discover whether or not any article you read or forum you see is truthful or not is to check the sources of the article.  Every time when someone does this, it will lead back to sources that will either deny there will be a remake, or are simply inconclusive.  You see many claims like Yoichi Wada is considering it, Motomu Toriyama would like to do it and Kitase says they can do it in a year!  The most outrageous claim I have seen is that it is coming out in 2012.  Let’s look at the source of these claims, shall we?

1)      Yoshinori Kitase – “The remake can be made in a year”

Kitase has had a guiding role in every Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy III.  He helped write and he directed Final Fantasy VII.  If anyone would be proclaiming to the rooftops that there will be a remake, it would be him.  Instead, when he was interviewed regarding Final Fantasy XIII, the game the company had been working on exclusively for four years, he didn’t mention it.  He had to be specifically asked about the possibility of a remake.  Remember that point.

 

Here’s what he actually said according to an interview with TechDigest in February 2010:

Interviewer: You both [Kitase and Toriyama] worked on Final Fantasy VII, a game very close to my heart! There are always rumours of a possible Final Fantasy VII remake, but would you personally like to see it happen? Do you think a remake is even necessary?

 

YK: If it were possible that we had all the right facilities and the right environment to be able to make and prepare a Final Fantasy VII remake within a year, we’d very much like a go at it!

 

The key words there are: IF it were possible… to prepare a remake in a year, we’d like to.  But it is not possible.  Remember also that the question asked “would you like to see it happen”, not “is it going to happen”.  Wants and realities are two different things.  Kitase continues:

YK: But even Final Fantasy XIII has taken over three and a half years to create. If we were to recreate Final Fantasy VII with the same level of graphical detail as you see in Final Fantasy XIII, we’d imagine that that would take as much as three or four times longer than the three and a half years it has taken to put this Final Fantasy together! So it’s looking pretty unrealistic! But if any such situation came about by any remote chance, then yes, we’d do it!

 

So Kitase says that it is unrealistic and infeasible to make a remake as he’d estimate it would take many years, from 9 to 12 years in fact.  Notice how this is all hypothetical.  There is nothing concrete here about a remake in production, and even if the announcement was made tomorrow, we would probably have to wait another 10 years.  In that time, new systems would have come out, and fans like me that grew up with the game will be in their 30s and 40s.  This is just not a viable enterprise.

 

But somehow, in every forum and article I have ever seen on the subject, the phrases “if we could, we would, but we can’t”, and “we’d like to but…” turned into “we are thinking about it!”

 

The other main guys who worked on Final Fantasy VII, like writers Tetsuya Nomura, and Kazushige Nojima and Hironobu Sakaguchi have been hard at work with other projects and their own companies.  Nomura has been working for several years on Versus XIII while Nojima is writing it.  They would need to be consultants in any remake of the game, and they haven’t shown any leanings towards that either.

Now you might disagree with Kitase’s assessment of how long the game would take (even I do).  Unfortunately for us, there are really two counters to this.  First, he is in a better position than you or I to judge how long the project will take.  He lead and helped write the original game in the first place, and he also produced FFXIII (a game with similiar graphics that took 3-4 years); it’s more than likely he knows what he’s talking about.  Thanks to the decisions of Yoichi Wada (see below) Square Enix does not want to commit as many workers on 1 game as FFXIII enjoyed.  So even though the technology and experience has gotten better, the manpower would be drastically reduced, making the game take much longer to make.  Second, even if we disagreed with Kitase, Kitase is the guy talking to Yoichi Wada and the other programmers.  If he doesn’t think it can be done fast, it is doubtful that the CEO does either.

 

2)      Yoichi Wada – “We are considering a remake”

As a CEO, Wada has been concerned with the more broad financial aspects of Square, not the quality of specific games.  Merging with Enix and Eidos, and marketing specific products to the places that want them have been foremost on his mind.  Arkham Asylum goes to Europe and North America, Dragon Quest goes to Japan and Final Fantasy goes everywhere.  Wada consistently gives vague replies.  When asked by Gamasutra in July 2010 about what accounted for Square Enix’s 2010 profits (whether it was Arkham Asylum or Final Fantasy XIII) he replied:

YW: [Our sales trend] shows steady growth, so I think it’s strategy. Of course if you look at each year, some years had a better lineup of products than the other years. But if it were just driven by the quality of the products, it wouldn’t have been this way. It doesn’t happen naturally.

Of course there was a positive impact from the acquisition of Eidos, or the release of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. But basically the strategy was to pursue growth, and that’s the way it turned out to be.

When he was asked about the mixed reception of Final Fantasy XIII, he gave political answers:

Interviewer: Now that Final Fantasy XIII has launched globally, in the end were you satisfied with its performance and the audience reaction to the title?

YW: Looking at the numbers alone, it is pretty good, because we were able to release the latest Final Fantasy in all three markets of Japan, United States, and Europe in a very short period of time, and we were able to reach 5 million units rapidly [this was his goal for the game] — and I think this product will grow further. But when it comes to the customers’ reaction to the quality of the game, some value it highly and some are not very happy with it.

Ignoring the account of how many units sold, what Wada said could be said about any game.  Then Wada was asked:

Interviewer: What do you think about how the game turned out?

YW: I think this is a product that was able to meet the expectations for those who know Final Fantasy. There are all kinds of games around in the market today. Should Final Fantasy become a new type of the game or should Final Fantasy not become a new type of game? The customers have different opinions. It’s very difficult to determine which way it should go.

I must disagree with Wada regarding his judgment of Final Fantasy XIII.  But the important part here is the fact that the future of Final Fantasy remains unclear to us: either Wada means the company is at a crossroads, or he is giving a non-answer.  At the time of this interview, preproduction and production on the sequels to Final Fantasy XIII were underway, and Final Fantasy XIV hadn’t been released yet.  The question of whether or not Final Fantasy will make the same kind of game it always has, or revolutionize itself is not answered at all.  But there is no mention of a remake.

 

Six months before however (Jan 2010), Wada did make it clear that the graphic and time demands for new Final Fantasy games were too great to keep going as they have been.  Games like Final Fantasy VII (3 Years), Final Fantasy VIII (2 Years), Final Fantasy IX (2 Years), Final Fantasy X (4 Years), Final Fantasy XII (4 ½ Years) and Final Fantasy XIII (3 ½ Years) take a long time.  With Final Fantasy XIV, he noted that this generation has reached the logical conclusion:

 

YW: “[Final Fantasy XIII] has been well-received by its core audience, and the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV Online will take this era of RPG development to its logical conclusion.  We believe the direction of gaming going forward lies not with expensive dedicated consoles that are difficult and costly to develop for.  Rather, as Nintendo has demonstrated with the success of its Wii console, the future of video games is in greater inclusion, bringing new gamers of all generations together, playing accessible titles with minimal technical requirements [read—minimal expense and time].  With these goals in mind, a text format Final Fantasy is the obvious choice.”

Sadly, this means the next game will not try to push boundaries anymore, but be made much more quickly and efficiently.  For Wada, Final Fantasy seems just to be a brand that can be pushed, no matter what game is packaged with it.  He does not even want to make a Final Fantasy XV, but a text-based game.  Personally, I like the idea that newer games need not have as insanely complex graphics as Final Fantasy XIII.  Perhaps better plot and more expansive worlds can be made more quickly, thus allowing the stories to be refined.  But the last thing I want is a text game that can be placed on graphing calculators and cell phones.  Wada then describes his plans for Final Fantasy XV, or as Akitoshi Kawazu confirmed “Final Fantasy: Chapter of Crystal Beginnings:

 

YW: “The decision to drop numbers was part of our ongoing internal initiative to position the Final Fantasy brand for continued growth.  We don’t want our grandkids playing Final Fantasy LXVIII.  That would be silly.”

 

Weirdly enough, this message hasn’t really trickled down to the guys making the games, but they remain realists.  They have been too busy making the sequels and expansions for XIII and XIV.  Motomu Toriyama, the director of Final Fantasy X and writer/director of Final Fantasy XIII said this when interviewed a month later (2/8/10):

Interviewer: How do you feel about Yoichi Wada’s statement that Final Fantasy XIII will be the last game of its kind for Square Enix?

MT: We don’t know exactly what he meant by that. We don’t really know what he meant by this style of game. If you consider that during Final Fantasy XIII’s development, at peak time the team consisted of over 300 people. It was a huge team, plus it took a several long years to get the game finished. So, if Mr Wada meant that we would never make another Final Fantasy title with the similar number of people, taking as long as FFXIII did, we would agree.

That paragraph warrants rereading.  The production time for Final Fantasy XIII and XIV took way too long to warrant ever doing it again.  And Kitase, if you remember, suggested it would take 9-12 years for a remake of the game.  Toriyama however ended on an optimistic note:

MT: Obviously in the future we want to be much more efficient. Having worked on XIII, we feel that we have got much better at making good games for high definition consoles. In the future our teams will be smaller and more effectively run. We suspect that is what Mr Wada meant by his statement.”

But the fact is that no amount of organization will speed up the amount of time necessary to make the remake in a good amount of time.  Ten years of work can’t be done in one.  And if it was, it wouldn’t turn out well.

So when on March 22nd, 2010, a year ago, Yoichi Wada in an interview said this:

YW: “Right now we don’t have a clear direction, but many fans have requested we remake Final Fantasy VII… We’re going to explore the possibility – whether or not we’re going to do it, if we’re going to do it, and the platform.”

Many gamers mistakenly got their hopes up for a remake.  “We’re going to explore the possibility” is not only vague, it is little more than a political answer to get away from the question.  Wada must have heard the gamers’ want for a remake long before this.  The critical part of this quote is “whether or not we’re going to do it” and “if we’re going to do it”.  From his vague answers from before, and the lack of any action since then, there is little chance that any remake will happen at all.

It is also interesting to note that the platform is under consideration.  Wada has already expressed his wish to move away from the more tech heavy platforms in favor of consoles like the Wii.  A Wii version of FF7 or a PSP version of it would be much easier to do, but in reality due to space constraints of the discs involved, the game would be little different from the original.  With the game already rereleased on the PSN since June 2009, and the spinoff games successful enough so as to not have to deal with the original, a remake seems like a waste of time.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but don’t get your hopes up.

Kitase essentially confirmed this in Oct 2010 in the FFXIII Ultimania.  Furthermore back in March, he posted a tweet on the Square-Enix page saying all the hype for a Final Fantasy XV was essentially BS.  In August, Kitase confirmed Wada’s mandate for a new game every two years:

YK: “the FFXIII team is already moving on to their next game, because Wada wants each team to be able to steadily release one game every two years from now on.”

You can be sure that this new game is not a PS3 remake of Final Fantasy VII.  In fact, this trend is worrying.  Beyond Versus XIII, XIII-2 and the expansions of XIV (games that have been in the works for a while), the newest games have been titles exported to smaller consoles, and much easier games to produce that are not full-fledged RPGs, like the Dissidia games, Final Fantasy Type-0 and the newly announced Theatrythm Final Fantasy.  If this trend continues, there might never be a FF15.

3)      Motomu Toriyama – “I Want to make the remake”

This is the easiest one to debunk of them all.  Siliconera recently interviewed Toriyama, the director of Final Fantasy XIII.  This has been cited so many times it’s disgusting.  All you need to do is read the full quote.  First the interviewer asked Toriyama about any future Final Fantasy games:

Interivewer: Based on fan reaction, what concepts from Final Fantasy XIII will be kept in say Final Fantasy XV or a future Final Fantasy game?

MT: [Laughs.] That’s so far away! The next game in the series is an online one, Final Fantasy XIV. After this we’re still working on the Fabula Nova Crystallis series – Agito XIII, Versus XIII. So, even if we do create the next numbered installment it’s so far away that we haven’t really thought of it.

No plans have been made for the future after XIII’s sequels and XIV.  It’s even laughable to him.  So you can’t assume that even if Toriyama wanted to do it, he is going to do it.  But countless articles out there make it sound like he’s signed up for it.  Then the interviewer asks him a HYPOTHETICAL question.

Interviewer: You worked on a bunch of Final Fantasy games. Which one would you want to remake the most?

MT: [Laughs.] That would be Final Fantasy VII!

Sure!  If I could program and make a game, I’d do it too!  But Toriyama gives a similar qualifier as Kitase does:

MT: If we had the manpower and the time to work on a project, if we were to remake Final Fantasy VII with the quality of Final Fantasy XIII it would become a tremendous project. If we can get the number of people we need by all means that would be the one I would really want to remake.

The problem is there isn’t the time and the manpower.  This is the fact that so many sensationalist articles are forgetting.  Even Famitsu is guilty of this.

So as I’ve shown with this quotes: 1) No one has actually said they are going to make a remake; 2) Making a remake would take way too much time; 3) At the very least, they would like to make one, but as it stands it is extremely unlikely and it is merely wishful thinking; 4) Square-Enix has not considered making a remake a viable option, nor will it; 5) there might never be another Final fantasy game that approaches the quality of FF13 and 6) any article that gives false hope for a remake is basically quote mining and ignoring reality.

But, you might not still be convinced.  Well then, here’s a quick list of the most important reasons why they are NOT making it, and why they will NOT make it:

1) IT WAS JUST A TECHNICAL DEMO!!!

No one even imagined a remake until Square Enix released a Technical Demo for the PS3 in 2004.  It depicted a remastered version of the first FMV of the game: Aeris stares at the fireplace, the camera pans up to show all of the city of Midgar, the words “Final Fantasy VII: TECHNICAL DEMO FOR PS3” appear and then the camera zooms in on a train approaching  Mako Reactor # 1.  Cloud jumps off of it, lunges the Buster Sword at the camera, and holds still for photographers.  Since that video was leaked, everyone started to buzz about the possibility of a remake.  Everyone assumed wrongly that this remastered video was the first FMV of a new Final Fantasy game.  You can find this video easily on YouTube: search for ‘Final Fantasy vii remake’ and you’re sure to find it.

In reality, it was only a technical demo.  When new hardware comes out, game companies have to train their programmers and artists to make sure they are able to work with that hardware.  When the Sony Playstation 3 was released with its new advanced dual processor hardware , every company had to retrain itself to work with its unique architecture.  Naturally, Square Enix chose something simple to demonstrate what they could do.  They took the first video from one of their most popular games and remade it with much better graphics, just to see how good they could make it.  This was an easy video to do: not too many cuts, only a minute or so long, a zoom out, a zoom in, 1 guy doing a flip in a motion capture studio, and it’s done.  This has been done before with every other gaming company. It isn’t as if they made an actual demo of the game, where you could say, play the first level of it and fight the Guard Scorpion again.  That at least would be a rational reason to think there might be a remake.  But no, for some reason people think this is actually evidence of a remake.

People seem to forget that there was not only a Technical Demo for FF6 done for Playstation, where a battle was reenacted in 3D, but there was also a Technical Demo done for FF8 for the Playstation 2.  These remakes did not come to fruition.  The original advertisements for FF6 had a real woman dressed up as Celes in it.  Was that evidence for a FF6 movie or a live action remake?  I don’t think so.

You only have to look at the video itself to know it couldn’t be part of the game.  Not only does it say in giant letters: “TECHNICAL DEMO FOR PS3”—not for “FF7 Remake for PS3″—but it is too dissimilar from the original FMV to be part of the game.  The fact that only Cloud jumps of the train and stops for that photo op shows that it is inconsistent with the game.  In the game, two characters came off the train first, beat up some guards, and then Barret comes off, beckoning Cloud to follow.  The video on the other hand suggests that Cloud is alone.

2) THEY HAVEN’T ADVERTISED IT AT ALL!!!

I have already shown that the quotes and comments of the Square-Enix game designers are only addressing hypothetical situations presented by interviewers.  But let’s be a bit logical about this.  If there was a remake in production, not only would there be a perfectly clear announcement about it, there would also be an OFFICIAL website, official trailers, interviews, and much more talking about the game and spreading hype about the game. This simply does not exist.

Ever since Squaresoft has had the website PlayOnline.com, they have been advertising their new games.  There were advertisements for Final Fantasy X when Final Fantasy IX was first released and FFX was barely finished.  Final Fantasy XI had been advertised for two years before it was released.  Versus XIII, FFXIII-2 and the world of Fabula Nova Crystallis were known to be in production for 3 years before FFXIII was released.  A Final Fantasy 7 remake has no such similar hype.

Amazon.com is one of the best ways to test whether or not the rumors are true.  The instant Final Fantasy Versus XIII was announced, you could pre-order it there (Unfortunately, there is no discount yet….).  This game has yet to appear in stores.  I pre-ordered it two months before Final Fantasy XIII came out in Japan, a full 3 years before the game was finished.  The point is, if any remake was being planned or was in the works, you would be able to pre-order it RIGHT NOW, especially if it was going to be finished by 2012, as the latest myth asserts.  So if you believe that a remake is being made or in the works, search Amazon and see if you find it.  If you do, tell me, as I would love to see it.

There have been articles sure, some with pictures too.  But there is one thing you should notice about all of them.  None of them have any photographic or visual material that isn’t either from a promotional still of Advent Children, the original game, the movie of Advent Children, that Technical Demo I mentioned in the previous paragraph, or a fan made cover, video or game mod.

3) JENOVA’S REBIRTH ISN’T REAL!

I had not even heard of this supposed remake “Final Fantasy VII: Jenova’s Rebirth” until I first wrote this article in April 2011.  There was no announcement about it on Square-Enix’s site, North American or Japanese.  There was no news about it on FFwikia.com which has daily updates on FF news archived for the last 5 years.  There were no official images or logos.  There still isn’t BTW.  The image the article supplied of the game cover did not even say “Final Fantasy VII – Jenova’s Rebirth” on the cover: just Final Fantasy VII!!!!  Supposedly there was an article in Famitsu about it.  I need not have worried.  Long story short: it’s a disgusting April Fool’s Joke.

I learned about it when I was asked by the administrator of this site to write an article for him.  I looked at the site before I made the decision to write for it and I saw he wrote an article about a possible Final Fantasy VII Remake.  (It’s linked below for some reason…)  It talked about how it was slated for release for the last quarter of 2012.  Something seemed odd to me, as the video it linked to was a fan made menu, I had seen the fan made game cover at least two years before, and the Famitsu picture showed nothing new.  Fortunately, he had a link to his sources which I clicked on.  This is something you should always do to check the veracity of something.  (My sources are at the end of this article, thank you very much).  It brought me back eventually to an article by Chris Pranger written on April 1st, 2010.  Wada had said eight days before that “We’re considering the remake” (see above), so I guess Chris thought it would have been funny to write a short and sweet article prematurely.  You can google “Jenova’s Rebirth official” and find nothing but links to that fake article and a few more that took it seriously.  I would not have mentioned this but so many people believe it.

4) It’s too hard and would take too long.

It took the team that made the movie Advent Children one year to get the graphics as good as they were and to render the cinematics.  In that movie, there were only 3D sets of the Sleeping Forest, Midgar (and this was only an exterior view of it), Tifa’s house, a highway, and two towns.  Only the sprites for the main cast were made.  For a game that would be released on the PS3 or XBOX 360, not only would they have to make a whole new Midgar, they would have to make over an hour of brand new CGI cutscenes, 3D sets for every part of Midgar, as well as sets for all the towns: Kalm, Junon, Fort Condor, Costa Del Sol, Gold Saucer, Corel, Rocket Town, Wutai, Cosmo Canyon, Bone Village, Icicle Inn, the Chocobo Farm, and every dungeon and forest in the game.  Then they’d have to make sprites for every character in the game that wasn’t in the movie.  Then they would need to redesign around 200 monsters and 70 bosses, all the battle animations for them and the 3D sets each battle takes place in.  Then they would have to fix that Bizarro Sephiroth fight because it was way too easy in the original game.  They would have to update the music.  Do voice acting for approximately 500 pages of dialogue.  And so on.  How long would this take?

Such a game, if it were made would cost millions, take years and it would only be playable on the PS3.  An XBOX 360 port would simply not have the amount of Disk Space necessary to hold a game that big without switching disks constantly.  As Kitase said earlier, it would be possible to do more quickly, if the full team of 300 programmers and artists were working on it.  But Square-Enix as a company has spread themselves out a lot more than Squaresoft ever did.  Square-Enix has workers helping with projects for many more games across all three platforms.  The team that would work on it would most likely be smaller, especially since the company has so many other projects to work on.  Wada has already expressed is want for new games to take only 2 years to produce, and it would be infeasible for the company to slow down production of these titles for a game that will take 10 years to make.

The only games they have ever remade into 3D versions are Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV.  Final Fantasy III was famously never released in America until the DS version, and IV was redone for the DS soon after.  FF3 was a unmined financial resource, and FF4 is a 20 year old classic, but these remakes were not done for the PS3, but for the DS and PSP, much easier systems to do it for.  The sprites and 3D environments built for the game did not require a tenth of the effort needed for a PS3 remake.

The only games that have been remade are the 2D games, but these have been incredibly easy to port.  They only made the most minor changes to the graphics for Final Fantasy 4-6, and added some short Full Motion Videos.  Other than that, the game remained practically unchanged.  The remakes for Final Fantasy I and II get some graphical updates, but these again, did not require nearly as much effort.  Put together, all six games wouldn’t amount to more than a dozen megabytes.  An FF7 remake would need a 50 GB Blu Ray disc.

5) They already made the FF7 Compilation.

When the decision came to re-open Final Fantasy 7, what Tetsuya Nomura called “Pandora’s Box” for the 10th Anniversary in 2007, they decided NOT to remake the game for the PS2, something that would take too many resources (and would have been finished by now).  Instead they decided to make several much smaller and easier games to make, as well as a movie.  This led to such games like Crisis Core, Before Crisis, Dirge of Cerberus and Advent Children: two prequels and two sequels.  There have also been two animated half hour specials.  Personally, I didn’t care for them as I thought they paled in comparison to the original and in some cases ignored it.  Crisis Core was very nostalgic and fun to play, but added very little that was relevant to the plot of the original game, and had an ending that almost contradicted it.  Dirge of Cerberus was boring, unimaginative and redundant.  Before Crisis was short and unnecessary.  The original cut of Advent Children, despite being nostalgic, made little sense and presented us with a villain that was merely a stop gap before Sephiroth inexplicably appeared again, and while Cloud as a character was briefly explored, no other character was.  For me, Cloud made a personal journey in the movie, but it was almost the same journey he made in the game, and thus it was redundant to see it again.  The director’s cut explained the plot a bit more, but still suffered from similar problems.   I never believed the story had to continue in the first place.

But no matter what you thought of them, they were as financially successful as a rerelease of the game would have been while taking half the time and cost.  These games did not take the company even half the time the original Final Fantasy VII took to make.  After that, there has been little need to keep exploiting Final Fantasy VII.

The moral of this story is that when the opportunity came to remake the game, they decided instead to go with the cheaper and easier option.  Not make remake a game that lasts 40 hours, but make 2 or 3 new ones that last forty hours combined.

6) They shouldn’t do it anyway.

I admit this is just my opinion, but I don’t want a remake done by Square Enix.  The game would not be done justice at all.  Personally, I would want a remake that was subtle.  I would like a remake that was similar to the FF5 and FF6 Anthology remake.   Slightly updated graphics (no more blocky sprites… but not much more than that), a hard mode perhaps, a re-translation (the original game was badly translated… remember “This guy are sick?”), an additional dungeon here and there, more monsters, perhaps an unlockable behind the scenes mode, and most importantly, an option to play the original un-tampered with version of the game.  But this won’t happen.

Frankly in regards to the Final Fantasy franchise, there has been too much nostalgia going on.  The most popular additions to the Final Fantasy franchise have been the Kingdom Hearts series, the two Dissidia games and the Chocobo games, titles that did not treat the original plots of the games seriously.  Even the FF7 compilation made some egregious changes to the plot of the original game.  I would be much happier to see a new Final Fantasy game with a just-as-good or better plot than FF7 had, than to see Square-Enix release and re-release a one trick pony.  In its day, the company consistently wowed us with new fantastic worlds and great characters.  I would be happier to know that at least Square-Enix is still trying to do that.

Personally, I would not want a remake of FF7 to be polluted—there is no other word—by meaningless additions like Kadaj, Genesis, Geostigma, Denzel, the events of Crisis Core, or the random minutiae that have been added by the company and fans since the game was first released in 1997.  There might also be another pop-star inserted into the game as part of a contractual obligation in order to put of their hit songs into the game (we’ve seen this with Gackt and Koda Kumi).  It is unnecessary to add them, and it just might make the game worse.

Aren’t there enough remakes in Hollywood nowadays?  Final Fantasy VII was fantastic, but there must be something new and original out there, right?  If you are nostalgic about the game, why not just play it again?  I’m lucky to still have my original disks, but even if you don’t, it is available on the PSN.  There graphics are bad, sure, but did that stop you from enjoying the game in the first place?  If you want it to look better, why not acquire the PC version of the game and get some mods for it?  We don’t need a remake to do that.

 

The bottom line is that the company will most likely choose the most economically expedient alternative. IF they were going to remake FF7, they would do it in a fast manner, and the fastest way is to release it on the PlayStation Network.  They could port the game to the PSP, simply because there is less work to do.  There isn’t as much work involved in doing that than completely starting from scratch making a game that looks as good as a top of the line PS3 or XBOX 360 game.  BUT EITHER WAY, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT A REMAKE OF FF7 IS EVEN BEING PLANNED.  Square Enix is more interested in their current projects like the sequels to Final Fantasy XIII and the expansions of Final Fantasy XIV to even consider making a remake.  Personally, I am holding out hopes that Versus XIII will be good (as there is little hope that anything else will be).  In the mean time, I’ll just play Final fantasy VII again.

 

PS (7/18/2011):  It has come to my attention that I was overly pessimistic with this article, claiming that a remake was impossible.  I’ll admit once I researched the matter, I became very discouraged.  I wrote this article in good faith so that fans of the series would not be deluded into thinking Square-Enix was diligently making a remake for them when they weren’t, but that they should see what they have actually said plainly before their eyes.  This does not mean you should be as discouraged as I was.  It is doubtful, but Wada might change his mind, Kitase might make a different estimate, or maybe, demand will be so great, Square-Enix will have no choice.  Just because they won’t do it in the foreseeable future does not mean they will never do it.  Crisis Core after all was decided upon in a 2 hour meeting.  (I think however that if they do do it, it will be released on the 3DS or something, and not be a true remake).  It comes down to one thing in the end.  If you want a remake, you are going to have to fight for it.  Write a petition.  Learn how to make some mods and make it yourself.  Hell, even offer to work for Square Enix for free so that they’ll have the team they need to make it.  Do something if you really want it so badly.  But I think it would be the wrong thing to do to just wait and hope for the best.

Sources

Kitase:

http://www.techdigest.tv/2010/02/final_fantasy_x_1.html

Wada:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/5892/square_enix_in_2010_president_.php?page=1

http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2010/02/08/an-interview-with-final-fantasy-xiiis-kitase-and-toriyama/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SCEEBlog+%28blog.eu.playstation.com%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

[Japanese] http://gs.inside-games.jp/news/215/21509.html

http://littlebobeep.com/2010/square-ceo-wada-final-fantasy-xv-to-be-text-based/

[Japanese] http://twitter.com/SQEX_MEMBERS_JP/status/9968415685

http://www.siliconera.com/2010/03/22/square-enix-ceo-comments-on-final-fantasy-vii-remake/

http://ffxvhome.com/2010/10/2/will-ffxv-be-released-in-two-years

Toriyama:

http://www.siliconera.com/2010/03/18/final-fantasy-xiii-director-answers-your-ffxiii-questions/

 

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