Despite the strong demand for a high-definition remake Final Fantasy VII by the fans, Square Enix is refraining from revisiting the popular role-playing game (RPG).
The CEO of Square Enix Yoichi Wada finally ended the mystery behind the company’s reluctance to remake Final Fantasy VII during an investor question and answer session at the recent annual shareholder meeting.
Wada conceded that even though he was well aware of the fans’ strong desire to see the game return in high-definition, his company simply cannot afford to fulfil the request until they manage to come up with a new title in the franchise that surpasses the quality of its predecessor.
The Square Enix boss went on to explain that “If we were to release a Final Fantasy VII remake right now, the Final Fantasy franchise would be done with.”
The explanation reflects a view similar to that of Tetsuya Nomura, the character designer of Final Fantasy VII. He had also stated that Square Enix was not considering a remake anytime soon as the current focus entirely lay on coming up with a fresh batch of titles that would match, if not exceed, the quality of the seventh instalment in the Final Fantasy franchise. Until the company is able to achieve that, it has no intention of looking backwards.
“The new Final Fantasy must overcome the Final Fantasy of the past,” asserted Nomura.
Released for PlayStation One in 1997, Final Fantasy VII broke the ground by redefining the RPG experience. Making the most of the technology available at the time, the game showcased visuals that seemed to be light years ahead of its time, while the soundtrack was nothing short of brilliant either. Nomura and Yusuke Naora had done an excellent job with the character design, while the writers wrote a story that had the gamers completely hooked.
The game immediately went on to become a huge commercial and critical success, with very few people having something bad to say about it. It rated above 9 on nearly all video game websites, reinforcing the fact that hardly anything had been overlooked during the development of the game.
Final Fantasy VII ended up setting a benchmark so high that its successors failed to surpass it. With the arrival of Final Fantasy X on the PlayStation 2, it seemed that Square Enix had finally managed to rise above the standard. The game was the first in the franchise to feature voice acting for a well-designed cast. Despite getting off to a better start than Final Fantasy VII in terms of initial sales, it eventually fell behind in the longer run and therefore failed to match the success of the latter.
The titles that followed were exactly something to write home about, though Final Fantasy XIII and its spin-off managed to lift the franchise back up a little.
Despite rumours of an enhanced remake of Final Fantasy VII for the current-generation consoles circulating around since 2005 and a formal denial of Square Enix regarding working on the development of such a product, there is still a strong hope and desire in the hearts of the fans to see the title make its return as a high-definition remake. Wada himself admitted in March, 2010, that the company could possibly revisit Final Fantasy VII in the future and even showed a couple of characters and locations from the game in high-definition during a tech demo for the PlayStation 3, thus setting another round of speculations and demands in motion.