There are rumours swirling that the fabled Final Fantasy VII remake may be in serious trouble and things may be taking a turn for the worst. Dan Tsukasa who was FF VII’s art director jumped in on a recent reddit thread saying that although Square Enix had said they have put four years work into the remake, in reality it was only two. Furthermore it turns out Square may have dumped the work already completed and started again after the content created by their partner in crime Cyber Connect was deemed to be unusable. The drama included a now deleted Twitter post from Tsukasa who now appears to have deleted all of his social media accounts.
Unfortunately, Square Enix are no strangers to development hell given their recent track record of extended development for some of their key titles. Final Fantasy XV was a decade in development and there were moments where we all questioned whether it would see the light of day at all, much less whether it would actually be a solid game or not. The less said about the illusion that is Kingdom Hearts 3 the better as that is a novel in itself. In some ways Square Enix are almost becoming the Axl Rose of the games industry, with one Chinese Democracy after the other. But this isn’t about Square. What exactly is happening with FF VII?
The answer is it is hard to tell. We know that development had been rumoured as far back as 2014 and was officially announced in 2015. There have been snippets of video and graphics released over time. But we also know that the last public release was two still shots in Feb 2017 and that Square had denied a request from Testuya Nomura to show video footage of the game. It is almost certain, given that there are rumours the game has already been scrapped and restarted, that the game may not be as far along as one would hope or think.
Gematsu have translated a recent job posting by Square advertising for a “Battle Planner” to aid in the development of the Final Fantasy VII remake. Which is interesting, because previous releases would have indicated that the battle system was intact or at the least in progress. Square are also looking to recruit a “Level Planner” to the team. One would think these positions would not be necessary for a game already years in development if there was any progress being made. It would appear likely that in reality the Final Fantasy VII remake is still in the early stages of planning and concept, which is certainly hard news for fans of the series. If true.
I don’t think anybody following the game would be surprised to hear the development could be in trouble. There has always been a distinct possibility that the remake is vapourware and these recent rumours will hardly fill fans with confidence. The problem I have personally is the lack of communication. When Square announced the game three years ago they profited from a share price spike. Since then, it could also be said that comments around development and the release of a trailer, video and stills for a game that may not actually exist could be considered misleading at best.
There has been no official recent comment from Square Enix in regards to the game’s progress, much less comments on the statements from Tsukasa indicating that the work already completed may have been abandoned. The other elephant in the room is their other big title Kingdom Hearts 3 (KH3). At D28 earlier this year, Square said that it is being completed in 3 sections and that section 2 was only 60% complete with no comment on the third.
It would be great if we could receive an honest update from Square Enix about Final Fantasy VII or KH3 to put some fears to rest. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.