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How Final Fantasy VII Can Make or Break the Remake Era

Final Fantasy VII is unquestionably one of the most iconic video games ever.

This JRPG is over 20 years old and still maintains a cult following that’s only rivaled by titles like Chrono Trigger and Earthbound.

When it was announced during the PlayStation conference of E3 2015, the Final Fantasy VII remake sent shock waves through the gaming community like no other game possibly could. CarNage64, arguably the most well-known Final Fantasy VII speedrunner, was streaming his usual nightly run of the game. His teary-eyed reaction and shaking hands speak for the impact this game has had on so many.

It was an announcement that seemed almost too good to be true. Four years later, fans are still left feeling that way—despite the game’s development. The constant delays have waned to the point that mention of developmental progress is now met with doubt.

In an interview with Italian website Multiplayer, Tetsuya Nomura (director) confessed, “I am well aware of the fact that we announced it too early, but even in the industry, word was beginning to spread that we were working on the game, so we just decided not to keep it more secret and officially reveal it.”

The very first step of introducing the remake for what many consider to be the greatest RPG of all time was a mistake. Let’s talk about the Final Fantasy VII remake’s impression on gaming so far.

A Remake Era

There was a noticeable shift in the video games industry in 2018.

At just around the time that Skyrim’s constant ports to any and every console and device known to man were beginning to become a cultural meme, we were hit with a wave of remakes and remasters.

We saw Shadow of the Colossus, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, Bayonetta 1 and 2, Secret of Mana, Super Meat Boy Forever, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and many others. The majority of the titles were well-received, too. This has continued through 2019, with Resident Evil 2, a remake of the 1998 survival-horror classic, being welcomed as an early candidate for game of the year.

It’s as if the entire industry fell victim to the nostalgia bug all at once—and I love it.

Let’s slow down and appreciate some of the best titles of the past and experience what the latest generation of platforms can do with them. Why not? If games like Battlefield V and Fallout 76 aren’t doing us justice, you know a game like Final Fantasy VII will.

Or won’t it?

The Risks of Final Fantasy VII

On numerous occasions, the team working on the Final Fantasy VII remake has stated that it took so long to begin planning for the game because they knew that failure was not an option. Even past its announcement and into development, this is the excuse given for its slow pace.

This goes back to the remake’s director admitting they announced the game too soon. At the exact moment the teaser dropped, time stopped and everyone in the gaming industry laser-focused on this brief E3 presentation. As time goes on, our expectations build. Isn’t that natural? The longer it takes to create something, the higher quality the end product should be, right?

This is the position that Square Enix has placed themselves in. Just imagine if Valve announced Half-Life 3 tomorrow and dragged out its development over five years. Why? Couldn’t they just as easily announce it when they were nearing completion? Tetsuya Nomura claims that the pressure of “word beginning to spread” is what prompted the Final Fantasy VII remake announcement, but does that matter?

Fans were obsessively spreading rumors and dreaming up concepts for the remake for years. Back to the Half-Life 3 example, if someone from Valve other than Gabe Newell himself mentioned that it was in the works, I’m not sure I’d even believe it. That’s the way to approach games of this magnitude.

So, the expectations are higher now than ever—even more so tomorrow. That being said, we’ve heard reports that the Final Fantasy VII remake won’t ship until 2023.

Regardless of how long it takes, there will be an audience, myself included, that accepts this game’s release as a success in itself. If it does take until 2023 to reach that point, there’s no telling if the remake craze will still be alive and well.

If it is, the implications of the Final Fantasy VII remake underwhelming and disappointing fans may be felt across the industry. To build up this much anticipation and publicly acknowledge this title as the one you can’t afford to mess up, anything less than critical acclaim is falling short.

Square Enix holds in their palm an important responsibility. If they mishandle Final Fantasy VII and this game flops, it could truly level the gaming community with a sense of resentment towards AAA remakes that may be difficult to recover from. The most daunting part is that they’ve stacked the odds against themselves already.

Closing Remarks

I think it’s safe to say that just about everyone who appreciates video games is wishing the best for Square Enix during the Final Fantasy VII remake’s development. Even if you aren’t a fan of the developer, original game, or JRPGs in general, this game’s reception may reach an area of the industry that affects you.

As we wait the months and years left before this title ships, we can only hope that other games learn from the mistakes Square Enix has already made. It’s not too much to overcome though, so let’s wait and see if this turns out as one of video games’ biggest successes or most upsetting failures.

Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed the article! If you’d like to see some related content, and support Exclusively Games in the process, click on our Amazon Affiliate links listed below to find related products. – EG Staff

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  1. Excellent read, thanks mate for writting down all of our thoughts.

  2. christopher Thiel on February 15, 2019 at 3:19 am said

    There is so much pressure on this gaming being good. Personally they probably should have kept it turn based just because it would have made it easier to not mess it up. Either way i think anyone who calls themselves a gamer will pick it up. I know i will buy the $500 edition when it comes out.

  3. I don’t think this game is the pivot for remakes. Regardless of how it does they are not going away considering how successful titles like Resident Evil 2 and Crash Bandicoot the N. Sane Trilogy are doing. Remakes also have the advantage of playing on nostalgia and not requiring the devs to come up with anything new by recreating what is already a proven success.

    That being said I thing that the remake of FFVII will spell out the future of the Final Fantasy franchise (aside from XIV, which will continue for decades). I don’t think Square can afford it to fail and I’m not sure the episodic releases they are planning will earn them any good will. After the lukewarm reception of XV this has to be a success.

  4. Daniel Arehart on February 15, 2019 at 5:00 am said

    Great article. I really like the emotion touch of the speedrunner’s reaction to the announcement. Square needs to deliver on this remake.

  5. Edgar A Larios on February 15, 2019 at 5:25 am said

    I sincerely hope this works, both the remake and EXCLUSIVELY GAMES BABY! CONGRATULATIONS on the launch and I’m happy to be a small part of history, visiting on launch, February 14 2019!

  6. As a fan of Final Fantasy VII, and of the 5th console gen as a whole, I have nothing but disdain for a remake of this great classic. The Remake culture of the modern AAA games industry is a major hindrance to the creation of newer titles for these iconic IPs as it is to newer gamers discovering these older masterpieces.

    I understand this is a very unpopular opinion among fans of FFVII, but imagine if Square didn’t make Final Fantasy VII for the first 3D Final Fantasy at the turn of the console gen; instead, they remade the original Final Fantasy for 3D at the start of the 5th gen. I know, it’s a crazy idea when looking back at the imaginative creativity coming out of that studio in the 1990’s . . . but that’s where the industry is now. “Why make a new story when you can recycle these older ones that are beloved?” – that seems to be current mindset of studios like Square and Capcom. In my personal opinion as a fan of this series, this is a pure act of creative laziness. What Square SHOULD do is to put all of their effort into Final Fantast XVI, and make an impactful return to turn-based combat with a story and setting that blows our hair back.

    …But when it comes to FFVII, I’d prefer an anime.

  7. Formium Gotten on February 15, 2019 at 2:09 pm said

    This is one of the best gaming journalist articles I have read in a long time….

  8. Josh Thomas on February 15, 2019 at 2:24 pm said

    Great article and good points. Personally, I’m too stoked about the CTR remake than FFVII right now. I kind of fear the 2023 deadline might’ve put it in the same light as Lost Ark where hype was huge globally, but has taken so long you are starting to see it falter. By the time it hits the states or Europe, will the game live up to that pressure and be worth the wait?

  9. As excited for this game as I am, I really would rather have seen a Xenogears remake, tbh. That will NEVER happen, but in my opinion it was just an all-around better game…and that is SAYING something because FFVII was amazing!

  10. Craig Mcleod on February 15, 2019 at 5:36 pm said

    The thing is SE does not have till 2023 to release a HD remake of FF7 because if they think they’ll get away with that day some lunatic will absolutely go and remaster/remake the last bits of FF7 PC (Basicaly the cutscenes and some of the under hood stuff at this point) and that will be the ball game.

  11. I honestly hope that this game launches in 2023, if that is how long it takes them to make a finished, well designed, game. I long for the days when the game I buy is a finished game not in need of live updates. I am so sick of being sold what can fairly be classified as betas and waiting for updates to make the game what it was originally intended to be. A little delayed satisfaction; we as gamers should expect it more often.

  12. The remakes are not a bad idea considering many new gamers do not have a clue what good games look like and new AAA games most of the time lack good good gameplay or story.

  13. Steven Jones on February 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm said

    Wasn’t there rumors going around that they were going to release it episodically?

  14. Games n' Stuff on February 27, 2019 at 7:38 pm said

    They have already shown the remake is out of touch in all seriousness. They want to tackel todays younger/young adult market that grew up on hack and slash rpgs. They should have focused on more just remaking the game in advent/modern models.

  15. Sealchoker on March 5, 2019 at 12:27 pm said

    Given the rate of obesity in America, each year that they delay FF7 is a whole heap of nostalgia motivated buyers that won’t be around to pick up their product.

  16. rushballin on May 8, 2019 at 6:18 am said

    Cancer will be cured before this game comes out. Even feminist cancer.

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