Those who haven’t lived under a rock in the last two decades will remember Final Fantasy VII as the game changer in the role-playing genre. While Saga Frontier and Legend of Mana were beautiful in their 2D aspect, FF7 gave us a 3D world filled with dark secrets to uncover, and some nice Easter eggs to boot. The game gave players a horde of memorable characters ranging from a mentally tormented ex-soldier who wanted to watch the world burn via meteor strike, all while breaking boundaries of the story line as it delved into the harsh topics of capitalism and terrorism. Compounded with strategic gameplay, Buster Swords, Chocobos, ‘Reunions’ and impeccable musical score composed by one of the best game music directors in the business, you have the ingredients to Square-Enix’s money in the bank.
When Square-Enix released the Final Fantasy VII tech demo trailer to show of the magnificent capabilities of the PlayStation 3, not a soul has shut up about it since. Given the prestige of the original, anyone who craved the return of that blissful nostalgia of Cloud and company had since speculated when Square-Enix was going to bite the bullet and actually release a ‘remake’ of the most coveted role-playing game for the PSOne. With E3 right around the corner, a reveal of at least a work in progress of the game wouldn’t be a bad idea. Actually, announcing the game at E3 could be the best move that they ever made for their business and the reasons why are more obvious than the Biggs and Wedge Star Wars references littered throughout the FF series.
The popular demand for a Final Fantasy VII remake has been oozing from Square-Enix’s fanbase for a very long time, so much that it became impossible to ignore. The company had acknowledged that gamers wanted it badly, but had resorted to shelling out reasons for not wanting to remake the game. It was even reported last year that video game director Tetsuya Nomura claimed that a remake of FF7 wasn’t a priority, but rather every installment made for the series must be able to surpass the previous. CEO Yoichi Iwada even went so far to say that Final Fantasy would come to an end if the remake were to actually be put in place. Given the amount of critical acclaim and the longevity of the series as a whole, it seems very off-putting for Iwata and Nomura to say this. This is not to say that their focus on strengthening other titles in order to further reinvigorate the company isn’t in the right place, but considering the hole that Square-Enix has dug themselves into in last two years, one would think that they need a giant rope to pull them out.
With their decline in sales evident alongside fingers pointing at western developers, the remake is indeed that shiny, strong rope of hope. Square-Enix needs to indicate again to its fanbase that they need their core audience; that they recognize that several of their charting franchises have garnered them success, but few of them had given them the accolade of legend status. Final Fantasy VII is one of the few golden standards of their company and a remake of the game would further that legacy and veer from the negative stigma of recent business decisions and outrageous blaming on just about any non-Japanese Square-Enix employee. Knowing this, developing and publishing the remake of the game on upcoming next-gen platforms can make up for more than enough of their financial losses, as well as their loss of plenty of die-hard fanatics.
If the remake is announced at this year’s E3, the game itself could very well shift gamers decisions on consoles, whether it’d be on the PS4 or the XBOX One. There’s no doubt that the working relationship between Square Enix and Sony is a strong one, so announcing their game for their next-gen flagship console would be the smart thing to do. However, if the game goes towards Microsoft’s way, there’s no telling how the flair in the XBOX One will change, especially since the general consensus on the new console is very negative.
Square Enix not announcing a remake in progress would impact their future revenue. You can quote me on that. There may be the next chapter in the Final Fantasy XIII series and rumors are running rapid about there being an unveiling of Final Fantasy XIII Versus, but these games just seem like a dodge away from what fans are really asking for. Square Enix should give us the game that has made all of us fans for so many years and we’ll be sure that the remake of Final Fantasy VII stays on top of sales charts. At least then there won’t be any more surprises in loss of revenue or finger pointing on their part; everybody’s happy.