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Where Are You FFVII Remake?

by June 12, 2018 4 comments

For the third year in a row, the Final Fantasy VII Remake has been completely absent at E3. Every year I host a stream on behalf of thelifestream.net for its members to come together and watch the conferences – we’re a varied bunch, obviously with a general gaming focus on Square’s games (particularly VII) and RPG’s but importantly we’re interested in all sorts of titles. We enjoy the conferences for all sorts of gaming news. Resident Evil 2 remake? Neat! The Last of Us 2 is looking fantastic. Death Stranding is still weird but atmospheric and interesting. Cyberpunk 2077 looks amazing. Finally a good Spider Man game? Sign us up!

But we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about Square Enix and their poor showing this year. I prepared myself with what I thought was a wise level of lowered expectations entering this E3. Armed with the knowledge that Square were having their first media showcase since 2015, I still entered the arena that is Square Enix @ E3 with my expectations set very low. Sadly, those expectations were resoundingly met.

Logically, we have the following things to consider:

  • They are waiting until Kingdom Hearts III is out to promote VII
  • The game isn’t developed enough to promote
  • They’re waiting until they’re closer to release

However, the following were also factors leading up to E3:

  • A new remake image was shown on Square’s recruitment page less than a month ago, our first glimpse of air buster
  • Square Enix were having their first showing at E3 since 2015, when the remake was announced
  • The Kingdom Hearts III release date and new trailer had been revealed prior to SE’s show

This led us to hope in spite of logic and Square’s known behaviour patterns that the remake could make an appearance at this year’s E3. Sadly our hopes were unfounded.

So let’s analyse.

Waiting Until Kingdom Hearts Is Released

It’s likely Square’s belief that the core market for FFVII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III is the same, essentially leading them to dial down promotion of VIIR until KH is released. This is misguided. There is no evidence to suggest that showing off one game is going to impact sales of another. Other companies are guilty of this same fallacy however – Bioware/ EA have in the past forgone showing one game in development in favour of promoting another. It’s a choice that can make sense under the correct circumstances, but Square Enix have not met those correct circumstances. As consumers we need to have confidence in the product, and it’s fair to say that most have lost confidence in the state of VIIR. After 2.5 years without video footage of the game, and a notable 3 year absence from E3, this was an opportunity to reaffirm that the game is deep in development. They dropped the ball.

The Game Isn’t Developed Enough to Promote

This is unlikely. Even if you believe that the assets created by CyberConnect2 were completely scrapped when the project was moved internally to Business Division 1 (which I do not), the game has been in internal development for two years. In February 2017, Nomura shared images of VIIR’s first boss fight at an art event (Magic Monaco 2017):

More importantly, Nomura stated following this event that he had a video that he wanted to showcase, but that Square Enix wouldn’t allow him to do so. It is therefore fact that there is more footage of the remake out there that hasn’t been released, and that this has been the case for 16 months at the very least.

Nomura is famed for being perfectionist to a fault. If the game was in a state that he was happy to show off but that Square Enix was not, this was likely due to the imminent shift to internal development. Square likely anticipated that there would be change. That Nomura had a video of the game to show at this stage however, is a key indicator that CyberConnect2’s work was not completely scrapped following the shift.

They’re Waiting Until They’re Closer to Release

This is the most likely of the three logical points we have to consider for why the Remake hasn’t been seen publicly since Playstation Experience 2015. It seems logical that they’ve been criticised in the past for showing half-baked games, have at least partially taken that on board and decided to wait until they can at least give a release window until they show it again. The trouble is that they’ve already announced it, so we’re hungry for more information. The damage has been done.

With all of that to consider, we can still hope to see a glimpse of VIIR at some point before the end of 2018, and a late 2019 release window is still not entirely out of the question.

Square Enix need to acknowledge that the cat is out of the bag and take control of their own PR, because the radio silence on VII is allowing fan theory to run wild and this is translating to a solid negative outlook on the company. This behaviour is a repeat pattern, and the lack of transparency is negating any trust they had managed to build with the seemingly self-aware behaviour they’d exhibited with the VIIR announcement trailer narration or the Active Time Reports they’d started with Final Fantasy XV.

Just give us SOMETHING, Square.

4 comments

  1. mrNepa
    #1 mrNepa 13 June, 2018, 12:12

    If the development of FF7R isn’t complete shitfest and if they have figured out the combat system, businesswise it would have been VERY smart of them to include short combat system oriented demo(like FF15 platinum demo) with KH3.

    That would have exponentially boosted KH3 sales, and get more FF fans into KH.

    I was browsing SE’s hiring page with google translate and they are still hiring battle planners.

    “Planning of battle system which combines command and actionality, creation of specification · Design of ideas such as enemy and boss · Environment setting such as setting parameters according to player’s growth” -google translate

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  2. lordlame
    #2 lordlame 15 June, 2018, 07:47

    Definitely think they’ve dropped the ball – a short, 60 second trailer with new footage, would have the hype train full steam ahead

    Reply to this comment
  3. lordlame
    #3 lordlame 15 June, 2018, 07:50

    Also – pretty confident we will see this released on the next playstation console – doubt it will be released on the PS4

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  4. InsertUsername
    #4 InsertUsername 23 June, 2018, 05:38

    Gotta admit, Square Enix really stomped on my hype this time around

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