The director of Final Fantasy 7 on the remake everyone wants
"You must believe me when I say it would take a lot to happen."
A Final Fantasy 7 remake - often called for by fans of the Japanese role-playing game series - is not currently in development, Square Enix has said, and it doesn't look like it will be any time soon.
The last official word on the possibility of the game came in June 2012 from then Square Enix chief Yoichi Wada, who told investors that the company would only remake Final Fantasy 7 once it has made a Final Fantasy game that exceeds the quality of Final Fantasy 7.
This, many fans will agree, has yet to happen.
And, given Square Enix has a lot of Final Fantasy on its plate right now, it's hard to imagine the developer adding a remake of perhaps the most successful game in the series to the production pipeline. With the Final Fantasy 13 trilogy out the door, there's still ongoing work on MMO Final Fantasy 14, a PlayStation 4 version of that game, and of course high definition remasters of Final Fantasy 10 and Final Fantasy 10-2.
Oh, and let's not forget Final Fantasy 15, formerly Final Fantasy Versus 13, due out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at some point.
Last week, to coincide with the release of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13, Eurogamer asked Final Fantasy series producer Yoshinori Kitase - the person who directed Final Fantasy 7 - if it was, finally, time to put the possibility of a remake to bed.
"I can honestly tell you I would love to do that," he replied. "If you simply ask me if I personally would like to do that, yes I would. Definitely. There's no lie about it. But you must believe me when I say it would take a lot to happen."
Kitase mentioned "staff availability and budget" as two major barriers to the project being greenlit. This tallies with comments Kitase made in 2010, when he said in order to remake Final Fantasy 7 to the quality of Final Fantasy 13 it would take three or four times longer than it took to develop the divisive PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game.
But there's another major barrier to the project being greenlit: Kitase's personal motivation to create it.
"Even if I casually say I would like to do that, because it would be a huge project I would have to motivate myself to the level that I really am prepared to take on this huge responsibility," he said.
"I don't know if those three things will happen simultaneously. It has to tick lots of very big boxes. I won't rule out the possibility, but it would take a lot to make it happen.
"But should I ever take it on, it would have to be the biggest project I've done. My life work. So I would have to be as highly motivated as that to end up with something I'm very happy with. It's a huge thing for me."
"Should I ever take it on, it would have to be the biggest project I've done. My life work. So I would have to be as highly motivated as that to end up with something I'm very happy with. It's a huge thing for me"Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase
Meanwhile, as Final Fantasy 10 and 10-2 are getting the HD remake treatment, some have wondered whether Final Fantasy 12 is next in-line for a fresh coat of paint. "I haven't heard there is a plan," Kitase said of the potential project. "It depends on the team who created 12. If they think it's a good idea they might opt for it."
Kitase said Square Enix decided to remaster Final Fantasy 10 and 10-2 because it's difficult to play the original games on modern hardware.
Many of the older Final Fantasy games are available to play on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network, including the PSone titles, but when it comes to the PlayStation 2 Final Fantasy games, "there's a bit of a challenge" Kitase said. And of course, only early PS3 models include PS2 backwards compatibility. "So it's not quite so straightforward if you want to play PS2 titles," Kitase added. "That's why we wanted to remaster some of our PS2 titles. We wanted to make them more accessible and available to as many gamers as possible."
There's also a more personal motivation for getting Final Fantasy 10 and 10-2 onto PS3 and Vita.
"My son, he's at the age where he was too young to have played the original games when they released," Kitase explained. "My son only knows Tidus and Yuna through the Dissidia experience, not from the original titles. Obviously I wanted him to play one of my creations, so I had to make it available for PS3 and Vita users. That's the reason."