Square Enix has, on numerous occasions, attempted to explain its decision to remake Final Fantasy VII as a series of games, as opposed to just one big release. However, the wording has always been a bit flimsy -- primarily because we've been having to translate Japanese speech into English text.
Fortunately, a new interview on the official Square Enix website offers the clearest explanation yet. When asked about the decision to split Final Fantasy VII Remake into multiple games, producer Yoshinori Kitase says that the team was presented with two options right at the beginning of development. It could either go all-in on detail and section the story into parts, or it could remake the whole of Final Fantasy VII and be forced to cut content in order to make the project viable.
In Kitase's own words: "At the beginning of the project we had two directions we could go. The first was to make the project with the highest possible level of graphics, visual quality and detail, and not remove anything that fans wanted to see. Instead, it would expand upon the original game, to make it something even more immersive."
"The other option was to include the entire scope of the original game in a single release. But in order to make that work as a modern game, we wouldn’t be able to go for the highest visual quality and we’d also have to cut back on areas and scenes from the original."
Kitase continues: "Essentially, to make a single release viable the resulting game would have ended up being a digest of the original story, and we didn’t think that fans would be pleased with that."
"Ultimately, we decided the best option for the project was to go for the highest level possible, with an expanded story. Having more than one game in the project allowed us to focus on keeping everything people loved from the original, but go into greater detail and more story depth than before," Kitase concludes.
Basically, Square Enix had a vision for Final Fantasy VII Remake that simply wouldn't have been feasible had it decided to remake the entirety of Final Fantasy VII in one game. Of course, we won't know whether this approach has paid off until we play the upcoming first instalment ourselves, but given just how detailed the recently released demo is, we're fairly confident of Remake's overall quality.
That said, a lot of new stuff is being added to Final Fantasy VII Remake. Side quests and whole new areas have been confirmed, so it remains to be seen whether these additions actually enhance the experience. The last thing that Square Enix wants is for people to say that all of the new, original content makes the game feel bloated -- especially after publishing specific quotes like these.
What do you think about Final Fantasy VII Remake being split into multiple games? Do you think it'll pay off in the end, or would you have rather had Square Enix squeeze everything into one release, even if it meant having to cut content? Give us a Cloud-like sigh in the comments section below.