For years RPG fans have been asking Square Enix for an HD remake of Final Fantasy 7. In a new interview, the game's director Yoshinori Kitase explained the barriers to a proper remake.
"I can honestly tell you I would love to do that," Kitase told Eurogamer. "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."
For starters, Square Enix would need to devote a lot of money and manpower to the project. Rebuilding FF7 with present-day visuals would be more taxing than you'd expect. Kitase previously estimated that development of an FF7 remake could take several times longer than the development of Final Fantasy 13. That's not an encouraging sign, as Square Enix needed five years to finish FF13.
Kitase's personal drive is another factor. He said in the interview that the remake would be "the biggest project" he's ever done. He would need to be very motivated to take on the remake, which he characterizes as his "life work."
He's been thinking about the remake for years. Back in 2011, he indicated that it may include new features.
"If I may speak as a game creator, if we were to produce a remake of VII, for example, I would be really tempted to delete things and add new elements, new systems or whatever because if we were to make exactly the same thing now, it'd be like a repeat. It'd be an issue of repetition and not as much fun to make such a game. So I'd be really interested in rearranging games or reshaping games into something slightly different even though it's supposed to be the same game."
Kitase added that his desire to fix some of the flaws of the game had to be balanced out with nostalgia. After all, players are very attached to certain elements of the game. The process of figuring out what to fix and what to preserve will be a difficult process, Kitase said.
While I'm glad that Kitase has some ambitious plans for the remake, it sucks that we've still got years of waiting to go. The fact that he's still talking about the remake as a hypothetical means that they haven't even started it yet.
Fortunately, we can amuse ourselves with the original version of FF7 in the meantime. The game's been re-released on PS3 and PC in recent years. The PC version features cloud saves, a character booster and achievements. Sadly, replaying the original version for the umpteenth time is more entertaining than playing Lightning Returns for the first time.