Final Fantasy 7's remake, announced during Sony's show at this week's E3, captured a fair amount of attention, and a few questions snatched at the end of a roundtable about Kingdom Hearts 3 with its director Tetsuya Nomura revealed a bit more.
Nomura, who was a character designer on the 1997 original, is clearly excited about the prospect. "The talks about making this remake, internally it's been mentioned on and off," he told Eurogamer's Aoife Wilson in the interview. "Sometimes we think we can do it, and then sometimes we think maybe we can't. Considering some of the original staff, like Kitase, he's acting as producer, and [Kazushige] Nojima, he's doing the script - we're all getting older! If we keep going like this, the thought occurred to us that we might have to pass this on to a younger generation, without the original developers taking part. It doesn't seem like such a grand intention, but we wanted to do it with the original members."
So why has it taken 'til now for it to happen - especially as it comes relatively soon after Square Enix disappointed fans by setting up a reveal last December before announcing the PC port of the original was coming to PlayStation 4?
"When we announced the HD port, the PC port on the PS4, we weren't sure when we wanted to announce the remake," Nomura said elsewhere in the interview. "The production was underway then, so there's no real connection between the timing of the two FF7s coming to PS4. We've announced several different titles coming to the PlayStation 4 like World of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts 3."
The slow uptake of new consoles in Japan seems to be a concern, and Square Enix is making a concerted effort to make sure the PlayStation 4 is more attractive to the audience in its home country. "There's more and more titles being introduced for the platform, and we're hoping that announcing the remake of Final Fantasy 7, it'll give a boost to people wanting to buy this current generation of console. If we announced the remake after all those titles have been sold, it wouldn't have created such an impact, so that's why we decided on this timing. We wanted to reassure players that PlayStation 4 is coming out with great titles including Final Fantasy 7. That's why we decided to announce the remake."
How the new, slightly darker aesthetic sits with some of the crazier elements of the original game remains to be seen, but it seems they'll be intact. Can't wait to see the delicious sight of Cloud in a dress in glorious HD? "Please look forward to it," said Nomura as the interview came to a close.