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.
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