Why The Final Fantasy VII Remake Will Be Split Up

Why the Final Fantasy VII Remake Will Be Split Up

Square Enix is doing more than just remaking Final Fantasy VII. It sounds like FFVII will be episodic. You might have questions about this. Square Enix might even have answers.

"From the beginning, we thought a Final Fantasy VII remake would be bigger than a single release," the game's original director Yoshinori Kitase told Dengeki Online.

"If you did get it into a single release, there would be things we'd have to put into a shortened compilation," Tetsuya Nomura, FFVII's character designer, added. "Since we thought there would be stuff we would probably have to pare down and supplemental things we probably couldn't add, we decided to divide it up, concluding that we have to do a remake that's fully packed with content."

Kitase added that with the Sector 1 and Sector 8 areas shown in the most recent trailer are quite dense. "If we took everything that's in the original game and remade it at that quality, we couldn't get it all on a single release," said Kitase.

The Final Fantasy VII director explained that since they won't be dividing up the game, the substance of the original won't be cut, and Square Enix can then take that substance and do a full-on remake.

Earlier this year, Square Enix said that the Final Fantasy VII remake would not be exactly the same as the original game. Square Enix wasn't kidding.

Top image: Square Enix


Comments

    I hope they don't fuck it up. My enthusiasm is somewhat diminished by this news.

    If they need to make several games out of it in order to get all/most of the original content but at high graphical quality, I'm cautiously in favour of it.

      I don't see how FFVII in any way has more content that say FFXIII or the upcoming FFXV to justify this decision.

        I think it has plenty more environments and characters than FFXIII (haven't seen FFXV). This might be what Square Enix meant in terms of content. I got the impression that it would be difficult to fit all the assets on a disc if they did it in one go. The reality is that this would be a convenient excuse: the amount of work to do FFVII with high quality HD graphics, animations etc would likely mean that Square Enix would be forced to cut because of cost constraints. This is not a game that will sell like CoD or Destiny. You'd probably be looking at about 5 million sales in the short term. If you had to cut down FFVII to be the size of Tomb Raider or Deus Ex HR then you'd miss out on a lot of content. Doing it in stages means Square can charge more and spread the development costs amongst several titles.

          Ehhh. It seriously wouldn't need more character models or monster models than any other FF. They may be interested in more open environments but they don't need to since the base games story and progression is pretty much done and dusted. Also absolutely no need to expand on the overworld.

          Unless they can provide me with solid costs and profit projections, I pretty much refuse to believe that this game won't sell enough or make enough.

            FFVII has a vastly greater scope of content than FFXIII did, To be honest, the 3 XIII games probabaly compare to VII's content together.
            Assets, script, minigames, locations, combat system ect are all far larger in terms of scope.

            There's a reason why the remake has taken so long and why for years Square said it was practically impossible. It's also the reason why the remake has notable differences in mechanics and is split into pieces.
            It's all also largely to do with the graphical requirements for all of the above, graphical assets require insanely large amounts of extra manpower and time to make than they used to in the 90s, and that reflects in every design choice made by the developers.
            Every materia they add needs far more work put into it than previously,

              As I said... I'll need some pretty convincing comparisons. I've not yet played XIII so I'll give that one the benefit of the doubt. However, VII is definitely no bigger than it's closer brethren; not bigger than VIII, IX, X, or XII (MMOs don't count).

              I can understand if SE want to literally make a bigger, deeper, re-imagined game than what VII originally was, although if they're so concerned that it cost so much and take so long then they really don't need to - they could have just refreshed all the graphics and be done with it.

        FF:VII had a whole planet of content... that you could walk across, fly over, and even go into a submarine. As well as heaps of interactive cities which due to the times would have to be tripled or quintupled and then make in extreme detail with interactive environments, NPC, lighting effects, dialog, and more reasons to explore through said recreated cities.

        They would want to keep the DL below the 35-45GB limit which would require 2-4 separate releases which is entirely reasonable.

          FFVII isn't as big as you think. That planet? It's an abstracted in scale, gourad-shaded blob with nothing but random battles on it. Travelling options simply shifted the movement plane and switched off the invisible walls.
          Towns, cities, and dungeons were (as normal) a few interconnected segments with a couple of points of interest and many you wouldn't ever return to once you've visited once.

          Yes it'll become bigger if SE want it to, but translating what already existed in FFVII into modern-day graphics wouldn't be a bigger job than any for other similarly sized JRPG released today. And like... if I'm wrong about that? Then hell... how much smaller is FFXV or the next Tales, or the next Dragon Quest going to be? They'll never again reproduce the scale and quality we had come to expect in the past if that's too financially stressful for modern games.

    If the overall cost is comparable to the price of a full title then okay. However I think this is decision based on revenue.

      Square-Enix investors have long been asking how they can start seeing returns on their investment into a game project without having to wait several years for the project to release. This would seem to be a good way of addressing investor concerns.

      Last edited 08/12/15 12:25 pm

      Damn right. There's no sympathy from me until I see a much more transparent business report that can literally explain to me why SE oh-so need to release FFVII this way in order to make enough money. Same with the interaction with investors.

    Is the word "episodic" something journalists just started using? It's giving people the wrong impressions if it is. The original explanation seems to be saying that they are splitting it into several full games like FF XIII did. (Well, without the ham fisting of plot between games) I'm fine with the game being split up into several full games if it means each can create a more comprehensive experience rather than trying to compress 4 discs worth of saga into a single experience. Especially if they are adding more depth and detail to the world and story.

    Last edited 08/12/15 10:45 am

      The thought that I got was that you would get the game to a logical barrier point each episode, probably major region transitions (chocobo farm, Junon Port, Golden Saucer, Rocket Town before getting the boat), and you wont even disrupt people who buy the game later, as the barriers would only exist until the further content has been produced.

        Bit like how the original game was split into 3 discs.

      yeah the way its being portrayed here is almost like a mission by mission episode release, like the infiltration of the Shinra Tower will be one episode with the next part coming later.
      The way I'm seeing it though is 'lets do it like we do' with most Square games and release it over multiple Discs instead of just one. Sure it's probably a way to make more money but spread out over 3 or 4 yrs its not really going to be an issue for me and it's something to look forward to for awhile.

      The original explanation seems to be saying that they are splitting it into several full games like FF XIII did.
      This is what I'm expecting. At $100 RRP each. People wanted this remake and SE is going make sure they squeeze every single dollar out of those fools that they can.

        I think it will be the standard US$60 each but you'll have a shit ton of DLC such as weapons, outfits and materia. Want to buy a golden Chocobo? $5.95 Want to recruit Red XIII and Cait Sith? $14.95. Want to fight Emerald Weapon? $7.95.

          Mmm I doubt they will make vital components of the game like the Chocobo, Red XIII & Cait Sith a paid DLC.

          Potentially things like Emerald and Ruby Weapon may end up DLC though.

            We'll see. I still expect Square Enix to put out a fair amount of DLC for each 'volume' of FFVII. I'd say Vincent will have a DLC 'chapter', as would Yuffie. The different Chocobo would just be unlocks in that you could get them either by grinding or by paying real money.

      I haven't played XIII yet but I was under the impression that XIII was well complete as a game and that the two extra ones were ridiculously unnecessary sequels like FFX-2 was, and not a 'split-up' game at all.

        XIII is a full game but it had it's issues. When they dropped the whole Fabula Nova Crystallis thing with Agito and XV, they made XIII-2 and Lightning Returns.

        XIII-2 was a superior "game" than XIII but had a pretty dodgy plot. Lightning Returns was basically just to tie everything together story-wise, but I thought the actual game was pretty awful.

          So I can discount the sequels then? I prefer most FF games to be the original numbered release only.

          Your explanation works for me then. We can't compare VII being 'split-up' to the 'trilogy' story here in XIII.

            Basically XIII is a complete story, as they never really intended for their to be a sequel/wanted to see how successful it was before they did a sequel. XIII-2 and Lightning Returns tell a different story altogether, with some history from the first game tied in as a basis for them.

    Earlier this year, Square Enix said that the Final Fantasy VII remake would not be exactly the same as the original game. Square Enix wasn’t kidding.

    AWWWHAAAAWWWHAAAAAAAWWWW.
    THEY SURE WEREN'T!
    HAAAAAWWWWWHAAAAWWWWWHAAAAAAWWWWWWWW...

    Last edited 08/12/15 11:14 am

    Since we thought there would be stuff we would probably have to pare down and supplemental things we probably couldn’t add, we decided to divide it up, ...

    The Final Fantasy VII director explained that since they won’t be dividing up the game, ...

    Um.. what?

      The first quote refers to splitting up the main into a "series" of games (VIII, VIII-2, VIII-3 etc).

      The second quote refers to SE claiming that, by doing this, they don't have to cut any content they want in the remake, because they apparently couldn't fit it into a single release/disc/whatever.

    I'm curious what the actual size of the FF7 world is. How much bigger would it be in comparison to something like World of Warcraft, or Guild Wars?

    We did it because of technical and creative AAAAHHHH-MONEY-CHOOO!!! *Sniff* Sorry about that...

    Gold Saucer Date Night should be one full episode!!! :)

    I'm guessing it's gonna be a 3 part gaming series, Part I will end with the escape from Midgar, Part II being THAT FAMOUS DEATH, and Part III The End.

      Want to buy the DLC where said famous death doesn't occur and you can continue playing as famous dead person? $9.95.

    In before the last episode is somehow the largest and costs double.

    Yeah because I just love episodic gaming man. That feeling of smashing through Life is strange and having to wait an entire year to finish off the game? Orgasmic! Every telltale game, waiting 1-2 months between each new 1-2 hour chapter? Bodacious! That new Kings Quest game? Bought and finished the first chapter in June and still have yet to see the 2nd chapter (which at this rate means the game will finish up in 2018!).

    Seriously... Hearing the excuse "this is way too big a game to remake and release in one hit" can lick my virtual nads. The Witcher 3 took 3 years to make and look at that games world/quests/content/dlc. I am one of the people who originally bought a PS1 to play FF 7 (after thoroughly enjoying FF6) and this sounds like a horrible idea. While it's still kind of hazy what they mean by "splitting it up", since Square Enix was involved in Life is Strange and saw the "success" they were able to get by releasing a game over the course of a year, I would not be surprised if we were given trickles of content like - CHAPTER 1: MIDGAR, CHAPTER 2: FLASHBACK AT KALM TOWN or some rubbish like that. It's hard not to be cynical when you see whats happening these days with places like Konami, Capcom, Nintendo (am I the only one who is aware that Nintendo have been releasing unpowered pieces of crap hardware for the last 3 generations - maybe even 4 if you consider the N64 a failure - which I do if you look at the games line up compared to the PSX).

    DLC, Episodic Content, Kickstarters... The games industry is becoming a greedy dark place to be in and while there is the odd shining gem in the rough (titles like The Witcher 3) it's hard to stay optimistic these days.

    If this means I'll get to start playing the game in less than 10 years, I'll be happy :)

    After seeing the trailer, I'm not phased. I thought this was just going to be a HD update to the game but it's completely remade with new engine. So nice.

    Do not want...

    I hate 'episodic' series' release schedules (like the telltale games), and intentionally wait until the whole season is out to play them.

    Just finish the whole fucking thing and release it together.

    Last edited 08/12/15 5:42 pm

    I don't care how pretty it is, cutting up one game into multiple releases is not something I can get behind. When I play a game I want to be able to play it from start to finish. Even if the game were only split into two releases I still wouldn't be satisfied.

    That's not even getting into the pricing debate. How much are we expected to fork over for it? Two times the price of a normal triple A title? Three times? Four times?

    I don't understand how anything episodic will work with a battle and level system. Surely if you hit a wall that won't unlock for 6 months, people will just grind and max out stats before going on? Or will all stats reset? Or will there be no grinding? The only logical thing if it's going to be split is three seperate games like XIII trilogy that no one asked for or wanted. Walled content doesn't work with an RPG.

    Reading the comments here makes me frustrated that so many informed individuals don't have any grasp on any of the technical/financial issues that would be going on and can only think one dimensionally and not think about everything goes into a release such as this.

      Why should I give a shit?

      The only thing these companies want out of me is my money. So they've got to figure out how to make me lose control of it.

      I can respect empathetically and intellectually how much effort goes into making these games and I appreciate that. However the game isn't in my hands and my money isn't in theirs, I have no stake in this but the mere speculation of worth as reported right now. If SE studios blew up tomorrow we would still be living in a world with no FFVII Remake and no FFVII Remake customers.

        You don't have to give a shit though the statement can still be true whilst you ignore it. customers such as yourself demand the world without ever knowing how things actually work. Which is fine, you're not expected to know, but without reasonable objective bias you just look like a petulant child having a whinge they're not getting exactly what they want. Customers such as yourself also ignore the real world changes that have occurred in the last 20 years and what is required to be profitable in today era of business. If you don't like it, don't buy it, vote with your cash.

        None of this is going to change your mind, I know that, So good luck to you being disappointed with your unrealistic expectations of what companies can, should, and would do to appease you.

          You're right, I'm gonna be a stubborn mule. And you're also right that I'll be disappointed by what companies do in the future, as they've done endlessly in the past.

    How long have we been waiting for this? 18 years? I think we can wait another couple for SE to give us the whole thing at once. if the download will be too big, then use the disk system (already tried and tested), and download each 'disk' as you need it. Other games are released whole - i have no idea why this should be any different.

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