Ever since that PS3 tech demo years ago that showcased the opening scene of Final Fantasy VII, the want for a remake of said game has skyrocketed through the roof. So much so that you can’t go to any Final Fantasy-related article or news without a comment (or a string of them) clamoring for a Final Fantasy VII remake.
‘When are we going to get the FF7 remake?’
‘Why don’t they just remake FF7?’
‘Just remake FF7. It’s like Square Enix doesn’t want money anymore.’
Of course I paraphrased those but you get the idea. They pop up anywhere that’s Final Fantasy-related. Recently, the Final Fantasy 7 remake came in the news again and I drew a collective sigh. The news in question, if you’re not familiar, is original director Yoshinori Kitase saying he’d like to do it, but he’s just not motivated to do so. Here’s a link to an article about said news if you wish to read.
While the majority have started to jump at the new bit of information from Mr. Kitase and are demanding it should happen now because they want it now or so that Square Enix doesn’t continually drop themselves into more financial trouble, I sit among the minority and just think to myself ‘Nope.’ I’m on the side of Square Enix with this one; a remake of Final Fantasy VII just isn’t a good idea right now. While it may be sometime down the road (however long…who knows?), it’s not something that they should focus on right now.
Consider the argument that it’ll make Square Enix money. I have no doubt in my mind that, if done correctly (which I’ll get to here quickly), a remake of Final Fantasy VII would make them a ton of money. Final Fantasy VII is, after all, their most popular title does have the most material centered around it (look up ‘Compilation of Final Fantasy VII’ to see what I mean). However, consider what their general status is at the moment. Many people don’t have too much faith in them. They screwed up the initial release of Final Fantasy XIV (which also cost them a lot of money. Remember this little bit?), they royally screwed up with Final Fantasy: All the Bravest, and they kept a massive fixation on Final Fantasy XIII much to some people’s chagrin. While the Final Fantasy XIII sequels have been doing quite modestly for sales and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is helping to pick up the pieces the original left lying on the floor, the Final Fantasy series, at this moment, is in a bit of distress when it comes to the fanbase. Square Enix is in a position where they have to tread rather lightly with what they do.
Which leads me to whether or not they actually even do the Final Fantasy VII remake the right way. There’s a bit of a conundrum when it comes to the development of the said game. Do they make the same game (basically) but with newer graphical updates? Personally, if that were the result, I wouldn’t buy it. I’m not willing to lay down $60 for a graphical update. I have the original PS1 version. I could just pop that in (and if one doesn’t, it is available on the PSN). What if they make changes though? What if they’re too drastic? They run the risk of alienating the fanbase and screwing themselves over more. There is always the happy medium but they would need to really figure out what that happy medium is that can satisfy, at the very least, most of the fanbase so they don’t lose a lot of you.
What this all comes down to, regarding my opinion, is that they need time. I don’t think we, as a Final Fantasy fanbase, are ready for this yet. With several of their setbacks and losses in the recent past, Square Enix needs to really work at situating themselves back in the position that they used to be. In this, I agree with Tetsuya Nomura in that they need to work on bettering their future titles before they start worrying about the re-development of a past title. I want to see if they can prove that they can come out on top again after what they’ve been through recently. Then I’ll know, as a fan of the Final Fantasy games, that they could tackle a project such as the Final Fantasy VII remake. After all, they have stated that they would need to focus specifically on that game if it ever became a project for them. That means all their time, team, and a lot of money. You want the best, people? Well, they have to give you the best and they just aren’t back in that seat yet.