Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake[b] is an upcoming action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4. It is a remake of the 1997 PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII, retelling the original story following mercenary Cloud Strife as he and eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE battle against the corrupt Shinra megacorporation, and the rogue former Shinra soldier Sephiroth. Gameplay is planned to be a fusion of real-time action similar to Dissidia Final Fantasy, and strategic elements, and the game will be released as a multipart series.

Rumors and demands for a remake of VII existed for many years, but multiple reasons were given for why the project was not being developed. Four key original staff members returned to help with Remake: original character designer Tetsuya Nomura returned as both director and main character designer, original director Yoshinori Kitase acted as producer, Kazushige Nojima returned to write the script, and composer Nobuo Uematsu is also involved. The decision to release Remake in multiple parts was taken so the team did not have to cut any of the original content. They also decided to add new content and adjust the original character designs to balance between realism and stylization.

Final Fantasy VII Remake
FFVIIRemake
Developer(s)Square Enix[a]
Publisher(s)Square Enix
Director(s)Tetsuya Nomura
Producer(s)Yoshinori Kitase
Designer(s)
  • Tetsuya Nomura
  • Mitsunori Takahashi
  • Kyohei Suzuki
Artist(s)
  • Tetsuya Nomura
  • Roberto Ferrari
Writer(s)Kazushige Nojima
Composer(s)Nobuo Uematsu
SeriesFinal Fantasy
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)PlayStation 4
Genre(s)Action role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player

Overview

Final Fantasy VII Remake gameplay screenshot
Pre-release gameplay screenshot of Final Fantasy VII Remake shown at PlayStation Experience 2015

Final Fantasy VII Remake, which retells the story of the original game, follows Cloud Strife, a former Shinra soldier who joins the AVALANCHE eco-terrorist group as a mercenary to fight against the Shinra corporation, who have been draining the planet's life energy, only to become involved in something much bigger. Unlike ports of the original game released for computers and other high-definition platforms, the game is a full remake built from the ground-up, featuring full polygonal graphics as opposed to the pre-rendered environments of the original.[4][5]

Footage shown at PlayStation Experience 2015 demonstrated both exploration and battle mechanics, which both take place in real-time like Final Fantasy XV. Unlike the 'Active Time Battle' system of the original, the remake appears to use a real-time battle system similar to the Kingdom Hearts series, which allows players to freely control Cloud or one of his allies as they use their respective weapons to attack enemies. Players will also be able to use magic and summons, and a Limit Break gauge allows characters to perform more powerful attacks once charged. Producer Yoshinori Kitase stated that while the game has more real-time elements, there would still be strategic elements, such as selecting weapons and magic for each character to wield.[4][5]

Production

History

Square-enix dissidia yoshinori-kitase
Yoshinori Kitase, original director of Final Fantasy VII and producer of Remake, in 2009

Final Fantasy VII was developed by Square (later Square Enix) for the PlayStation home console.[6] Beginning its development in 1994 as a Nintendo project before transferring onto the PlayStation, its main staff included producer and series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, director and co-writer Yoshinori Kitase, artist Yusuke Naora, character designer Tetsuya Nomura, and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima.[7] Released in 1997, the game received both contemporary and lasting critical acclaim, became the best-selling title in the Final Fantasy franchise with over 11 million units sold worldwide,[8] and established the Final Fantasy series as a major franchise.[6] VII was later expanded upon through the multimedia project Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, headed by Kitase and Nomura.[9]

Demands for and rumors of a remake grew in the wake of both a PlayStation 3 tech demo that was shown at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo, showcasing the opening of VII with the company's new Crystal Tools engine, and the game's impending tenth anniversary in 2007. On both occasions, it was stated by Square Enix staff that no remake was in development.[10][11][12] Despite continued demands and rumors spread by staff messages within the Compilation titles, various reasons were given for why a remake was not being developed: these reasons included wanting a contemporary title to best the sales and popularity of VII; the wish to focus on new titles; the necessity of deleting parts of the original game to make the project manageable; the difficulty of developing on hardware such as the PlayStation 3; and the required development time being overly long.[13][14][15][16][17]

A remake was initially attempted in the early 2000s, when the company announced a remake for PlayStation 2 alongside Final Fantasy VIII and IX, but nothing further was heard of these projects.[18][19] The main reason attempts had failed was because remaking VII on current hardware would be a "massive" undertaking, and if kept within a single installment would require heavy cutting of content.[20] Another reason cited was that the staff were preoccupied with developing Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels, and Remake would have been an equally large or larger project hard to undertake at the same time. Once the XIII series ended, the team were free to pursue other projects.[21]

The Remake project finally began when Final Fantasy producer Shinji Hashimoto broached the subject to Kitase, Nojima and Nomura. All three were reaching a stage of life that they defined as "that age": all felt that if they waited much longer, they might not be alive to or would be too old to develop a remake of VII, and passing the project on to a new generation did not feel right.[22][23][24] Another reason for developing the title was that Square Enix was creating a growing library of PlayStation 4 titles, and the team hoped to increase the console's popularity.[24] A notable absence from the originally announced team was Nobuo Uematsu, who composed the original music for VII.[25] Kitase later revealed that Uematsu was working on the game's music in an undisclosed role. It was the first time Uematsu and Kitase had worked together since the release of Final Fantasy X, and Kitase initially thought Uematsu would refuse as he had long since left Square Enix and found success as an independent composer.[26]

Development

The game reached the full development stage by late 2015.[27] Production of Final Fantasy VII Remake is being handled by Business Division 1, an internal production team at Square Enix.[1][28] While Nomura was involved with the project from the start, he only discovered he was the director after seeing himself credited in an internal company presentation video, as he had expected Kitase to fill the role. He revealed that Kitase himself thought Nomura expected to become director.[22] Nomura worked as director for both Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III.[29] Despite there already being a story in place, which greatly simplified production on some fronts, Nojima was brought back in to create new story material.[21][22] Another project leader was Naoki Hamaguchi, who had previously served as programmer for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and project lead for Mobius Final Fantasy.[1]

While the team had the option of simply creating a remastered version of VII with better graphics as many fans had requested, they noted that its graphics and many of its mechanics had become dated by modern standards. With this in mind, they decided to do a full remake, rebuilding the game systems to suit modern tastes and using current gaming technology to recreate the world of VII.[22][24] This decision triggered the creation of Remake's action-based battle system, in addition to the most representative modern title for the Final Fantasy series being the 2009 fighting game Dissidia Final Fantasy. With this in mind, the battle system will draw from that action-based style while not going over to an entirely action-based system.[21] The battle system is being handled by Nomura and Mitsunori Takahashi, the latter of whom had worked on both the Kingdom Hearts series and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.[30] One of the game designers was Kyohei Suzuki, a veteran of the company's Business Division 4 who had previously worked as a planner for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts Coded.[31] The team's aim was to retain all the original gameplay mechanics that were well liked by players.[30]

While developing the scenario, the team needed to work carefully so the game did not come over as too nostalgic. They also needed to take decisions about what could be carried over from the original and what needed adjustment due to changes in social norms since the original's release, in particular a scene where Cloud cross-dressed as a woman as part of an infiltration mission.[20][21][27] The team were also planning to include references to events detailed in the Compilation titles, though what form these references will take and their scope is still under consideration.[21] Nomura later clarified that, as of early 2017, Remake did not share a direct continuity with the Compilation.[32] The scenario for the first installment was completed in December 2015.[33] The game will be fully voiced, and the plan is for the voice actors from the CGI movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children to reprise their roles, although not all of them have been asked yet and characters who were limited to cameo appearances such as Red XIII may be recast.[27][33] The subtitle "Remake" was included to differentiate the game from its 1997 original. It was originally going to be story-related, but the team did not want to give the impression that it was a sequel or spin-off.[20] Rather than using the character models and graphical style of Advent Children, which by that point had been developed using ten-year-old technology, the team decided to create new designs and models for characters: Nomura wished to balance the realism of Advent Children with deformed stylization. Nomura is in charge of the revamped main character designs, while designer Roberto Ferrari is in charge of designs for secondary characters. Character modelling is being supervised by Visual Works, Square Enix's CGI development branch.[20][27]

Rather than developing their own engine, Square Enix licensed Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 to develop the game, with Square Enix and Epic Games Japan working together to optimize the engine for Remake. The team also received technical assistance from the developers of Kingdom Hearts III, as the latter game is being developed using the same engine.[2][33] The game's lighting is augmented with "Enlighten", a lighting engine licensed from software company Geomerics.[3] To help with the action gameplay and video quality, Square Enix originally partnered with video game developer CyberConnect2: while their expertise was appreciated, the two companies needed to keep in close contact due to very different development styles.[20] In 2017, the game's development focus shifted from being developed with external partners to being a primarily internal project.[1] One of the biggest changes was the fact that the game was planned as a multi-game release: according to Kitase, this was because trying to fit the game onto a single release would entail cutting large parts of the game, which went against the team's vision. By splitting the game into multiple parts, the team were able to give players access to areas in the game, such as within the city of Midgar, inaccessible in the original.[20] Each game is planned to be on a similar scale to Final Fantasy XIII.[21]

Pre-release

Rumors about Square Enix beginning development on a remake appeared in 2014, apparently coming from an industry insider source.[34] Remake was officially announced at the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) during the PlayStation conference: the announcement received a standing ovation from the audience.[35][36] The announcement trailer was created by Visual Works.[22] Square Enix's stock prices rose in the wake of the announcement to their highest rating since November 2008, and the YouTube release of the reveal trailer garnered over 10 million views within the following two weeks.[37][38] It was next showcased at the 2015 PlayStation Experience, which showcased cutscenes and gameplay from the opening sequence of VII.[39]

During the Final Fantasy 30th anniversary opening ceremony event hosted by Square Enix in Tokyo on 31 January 2017—the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII—the game's first CGI key visual was unveiled, along with announcements for a collaboration event with Mobius Final Fantasy.[40] On 18 February, Nomura revealed and discussed two new screenshots of the game, showing off the game's updated HUD. While he wanted to show video footage, Square Enix denied his request.[41] Due to its lack of footage since 2015, switch to internal development and other projects Nomura was involved in, there were concerns about the status of the project. Speaking following E3 2018, Nomura stated that the game was in active development, with his full attention being shifted to it when Kingdom Hearts III was completed.[29][42]

Notes

  1. ^ Primary development by Business Division 1.[1] Additional work by Geomerics and Epic Games.[2][3]
  2. ^ Fainaru Fantajī VII Rimeiku (Japanese: ファイナルファンタジーVII リメイク)

References

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External links

Barret Wallace

Barret Wallace (バレット・ウォーレス, Baretto Wōresu) is a player character in Square Enix's role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Created by character designer Tetsuya Nomura, he has since appeared in the CGI film sequel, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children as well as other games and media in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series. As of Advent Children, Barret is voiced by Masahiro Kobayashi in Japanese and Beau Billingslea in English localizations.

Barret is first introduced in Final Fantasy VII as an eco-terrorist, leading the group AVALANCHE to bomb Mako reactors in the fictional city of Midgar, so as to avenge the losses dealt him by the megacorporation Shinra, the Planet's de facto world government, who operate under the pretense of saving the Planet. As the story progresses, Barret re-examines his efforts and focuses on pursuing the villain Sephiroth in an effort to protect the Planet and the future of his adopted daughter, Marlene. Elements of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII would later expand upon his character, detailing the character's history before and after the events of the original game.

The first dark-skinned playable character in the Final Fantasy series, Barret's appearance and sometimes profane speech has been heavily compared to that of actor Mr. T, earning much praise, but also criticism and accusations of racism by some.

CyberConnect2

CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd. (株式会社サイバーコネクトツー, Kabushiki gaisha Saibā Konekuto Tsū) is a video game development studio mostly known for its work on the .hack series, along with a series of fighting games based on the Naruto franchise. They are also known for creating the spiritual Little Tail Bronx series (e.g. Tail Concerto and Solatorobo: Red the Hunter). They were previously involved in developing Final Fantasy VII Remake with Square Enix, but left the project (citing regular mismanagement) to resume development of their own projects and more amicable collaborations.

In 2016, they expanded their workforce into the international market by opening a studio in Montreal, Canada.

Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015

The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015 (E3 2015) was the 21st Electronic Entertainment Expo held. The event took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. It began on June 16, 2015, and ended on June 18, 2015, with 52,200 total attendees.

Major exhibitors at the convention included Activision Blizzard, Atlus, Bethesda Softworks, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Studios, Nintendo, Nvidia, Sony Computer Entertainment, Square Enix and Ubisoft.While E3 is a closed event to only members of the video game industry and the media, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) allowed access to the event from gamers for the first time by distributing 5,000 tickets the various exhibitors that they subsequently distributed to their fans.

FF7

FF7 may refer to:

Final Fantasy VII, a 1997 video game

Final Fantasy VII Remake, an upcoming remake of the 1997 video game

Fast & Furious 7, a 2015 film

Firefox 7, a web browser

Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade

Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade, known in Japan as Final Fantasy Brigade (ファイナルファンタジー ブリゲイド, Fainaru Fantajī Burigeido) is a Final Fantasy video game developed and published by Square Enix for Mobage compatible mobile phones. The game is similar to other traditional Final Fantasy games with an overworld and dungeons, but is socially oriented. There are over 2.5 million players just in Japan, though reviews have commented on the games lack of polish and sound.

Final Fantasy Artniks

Final Fantasy Artniks is a Japanese video game developed by Square Enix and the GREE social network. It is the second Final Fantasy social game and the second game developed with GREE.

The game is a card game using art assets, characters and battle systems from previous Final Fantasy titles. Players either fight series of battles against enemies and bosses for rewards and rankings, or engage other players.

The game was released on November 30, 2012, and in just over a month, one million players had joined. Square Enix reported in 2013 that social games like Artniks were producing "acceptable profits".

On June 30, 2014, Square Enix and GREE announced a sequel to the game, titled Final Fantasy Artniks Dive, scheduled to be released later in the near future.Both titles have since been terminated.

Final Fantasy Explorers

Final Fantasy Explorers (ファイナルファンタジー エクスプローラーズ, Fainaru Fantajī Ekusupurōrāzu) is an action role-playing video game for the Nintendo 3DS. It features character job-oriented combat against classic Final Fantasy monsters and summons. It was released in Japan in December 2014, and in North America and Europe in January 2016.

Kazushige Nojima

Kazushige Nojima (野島 一成, Nojima Kazushige, born January 20, 1964 in Sapporo) is a Japanese video game writer and is the founder of Stellavista Ltd. He is best known for writing several installments of Square Enix's Final Fantasy video game series—namely Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and the Kingdom Hearts series. Nojima also wrote the original lyrics of Liberi Fatali for Final Fantasy VIII and both Suteki da Ne and the Hymn of the Fayth for Final Fantasy X.

List of video games in development

This is a confirmed list of video games in development, but are scheduled for release beyond 2019 or currently carry no release date at all.

Matt Jones (actor)

Matthew Lee Jones (born November 1, 1981) is an American actor and former singer and songwriter. He is best known for portraying Brandon "Badger" Mayhew on the AMC crime drama series Breaking Bad and for playing Baxter on Mom.

Mobius Final Fantasy

Mobius Final Fantasy (Japanese: メビウスファイナルファンタジー, Hepburn: Mebiusu Fainaru Fantajī) is an episodic role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for iOS, Android, and Microsoft Windows. It was released in Japan in June 2015, and released internationally in August 2016. The player controls Warrior of Light (Wol), a man who wakes with amnesia in the world of Palamecia, and must help conquer the dark forces attacking its people. The game features gameplay elements from previous Final Fantasy titles, including leveling, exploration via standard navigation and fast-travel systems, and turn-based combat tied to a job system. Common themes were also drawn from the original Final Fantasy title, such as "warriors of light" and their fight against chaos and darkness.

The game, which began development in early 2014, was developed around the concept of a mobile game on a similar level to a home console game and "a rich gaming experience, anytime, anywhere". This prompted skepticism from both in-house staff and external sources. While some assets were outsourced, most of the development was done internally by Square Enix's Business Division 1. Multiple staff from previous Final Fantasy titles were involved in development, including producer Yoshinori Kitase; director Motomu Toriyama, project leader Naoki Hamaguchi, character designer Toshiyuki Itahana and composer Mitsuto Suzuki.

The game registered over two million players within the first few weeks of release. Square Enix cited Mobius Final Fantasy as one of the most successful mobile titles they released in 2015, having over three million downloads in Japan before the end of the year. The English version also reached one million downloads within a week, with over three million in under a month. The graphics and gameplay were praised by reviewers, although some called the overall combat experience "simple". It was awarded as one of the Apple App Store's best games of 2015 in Japan. It was also awarded for being the most beautiful game on the Google Play Store in 19 countries for 2016. Mobius surpassed 10 million downloads in January 2017 with millions more since.

PlayStation Experience

PlayStation Experience, also known as PSX, is an annual event for the video game industry presented by Sony Interactive Entertainment used to reveal and advertise PlayStation games and game-related merchandise. The event is open to the public, and showcases various panels and many unreleased games, with playable demos.

Shinji Hashimoto

Shinji Hashimoto (橋本 真司, Hashimoto Shinji, born May 24, 1958) is a Japanese game producer at Square Enix. He currently serves as the Final Fantasy series Brand Manager, as an Executive Officer at Square Enix and the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 3. He is also the co-creator of the Kingdom Hearts series. He served as corporate executive of the company's 1st Production Department during its entire existence.

Steve Burton (actor)

Jack Stephen Burton (born June 28, 1970) is an American actor, best known for his portrayal of Jason Morgan on General Hospital from 1991 to 2012 and 2017 to present, and Dylan McAvoy on The Young and the Restless from 2013 to 2017. He also voiced the character Cloud Strife in a wide range of Square Enix products, including Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and the Kingdom Hearts series. In 2017, Burton returned to General Hospital in the role of Jason Morgan, under the alias of "Patient 6."

Tetsuya Nomura

Tetsuya Nomura (野村 哲也, Nomura Tetsuya, born October 8, 1970) is a Japanese video game artist, designer and director working for Square Enix (formerly Square). He designed characters for the Final Fantasy series, debuting with Final Fantasy VI and continuing with various later installments. Additionally, Nomura has helmed the development of the Kingdom Hearts series since its debut in 2002 and was also the director for the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

Visual Works

Visual Works (Japanese: 株式会社ヴィジュアルワークス, Hepburn: Kabushiki gaisha Vijuaru Wākusu) is a Japan-based CGI animation studio dedicated towards creating video game cut scenes and full-length feature films for Square Enix. Visual Works was founded as the CGI department for Square and was responsible for creating the pre-rendered CG openings for the company, starting with Final Fantasy VII in 1997.

Beginning with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005) the company began to work on stand-alone CGI films, continuing with Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (2016). After the acquisition of Taito and Eidos Interactive by Square Enix, Visual Works branched out their functionality to create cinematic scenes for Square Enix's acquired publishing brands, whilst continuing to primarily work on Square Enix's in-house properties. Visual Works are assisting Square Enix with the lighting and cinematic direction of the Kingdom Hearts franchise for the high definition entries.

Yoshinori Kitase

Yoshinori Kitase (北瀬 佳範, Kitase Yoshinori, born 23 September 1966) is a Japanese game director and producer working for Square Enix. He is known as the director of Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X, and the producer of the Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII series. Kitase is an Executive Officer at Square Enix, the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 1 and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.

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