Revealed at E3 2015 the Final Fantasy VII Remake wowed audiences with its slick trailers. It had us cautiously optimistic of what to expect from Square Enix. Reason being, it had yet to deliver on Final Fantasy XV, a game that was announced in 2006 and finally released in 2016 — after spending almost a decade in development hell and it showed with the game receiving consistent updates and upgrades to flesh out a story that many deemed as incomplete. It now appears that the Final Fantasy VII Remake may suffer from a similar fate. The game was earlier in development at CyberConnect2 — a Japanese studio responsible for a handful of titles based on the Naruto anime series. It was moved back to Square Enix as an internal project in 2017. The reason for this it seems, is that CyberConnect2’s work was allegedly “unusable”.
According to Dan Tsukasa, a game developer and 3D artist working in Japan, don’t expect Final Fantasy VII Remake anytime soon.
“They [CyberConnect2] don't have four years of work, they have two. The announcement that Square was taking the game away from CyberConnect2, they didn't take it away and continue it, they started it again because CyberConnect2's work was just so useless and not far enough along, but still far enough along that remaking it was faster than refactoring it... (it wasn't in a good state at all),” he said in a post on a Reddit thread discussing Final Fantasy VII’s art direction.
“I’ll explain it this way. When has a company taking work away from another company ever been a positive sign of things? I know CyberConnect2's work was unusable, I've worked with them before, I know their level. And i know they outsourced to hell and back in order to get things to the point we saw them publicly, and it still wasn't enough to save them,” he continued in another post.
When pressed for his sources and if he knew anyone working on Final Fantasy VII Remake, he had this to say:
“Yup, its the game industry in Tokyo, squares so large its rare to meet someone who doesn't know anyone there.
I'm unsure how to prove it though, I can't get into any issues by saying what I've heard, or whats common knowledge in the industry here (the common knowledge being that the project was taken from CC2 because it was so behind schedule), but if I were to name anyone working there, they'd get into trouble for sharing information, the same way I'd get into trouble if I shared information about where I work.
So with that said, I can only prove I work in the game industry in Japan, can't prove who I do and don't know.”
Tsukasa has deleted his Reddit and Twitter accounts since these posts. However they have been archived on popular gaming forum ResetEra including those that suggest that Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Director, Tetsuya Nomura isn’t even working on the game, focussing solely on Kingdom Hearts 3. It was announced five years ago by Square Enix and is slated for a 2018 release.
As per Tsukasa, Nomura "is barely ever there, he's director largely in name alone. He spends the vast majority if his time in Osaka on Kingdom Hearts 3, as that's where he lives, during the week at least."
All of this points to a game that’s quite possibly in development hell. Tragic considering that for many, the original Final Fantasy VII was the first role-playing game for many. Perhaps Square Enix would shed more light on this at E3 2018? Till then, we’d temper expectations of what to expect from the company.
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