When it comes to the subject of a Final Fantasy VII remake, no representative from Square Enix has commented more than Yoshinori Kitase. The director and co-scenario writer of the PlayStation game that launched the franchise and genre into an enormous worldwide spotlight is among the many Squaresoft luminaries often asked about the potential of remaking the game for whatever current generation of consoles we may be on.
Speaking with Eurogamer on the Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII launch circuit, Kitase was asked about his thoughts on the potential for Square Enix to remake the game.
“I can honestly tell you I would love to do that. 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 elaborated on the challenges, both personal and professional, that he would face should such a project come to fruition:
“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. 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.”
For Square Enix to take on such a project, it would likely mean draining manpower and money alike from other potential projects. Former Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada once commented that a Final Fantasy VII remake should only be attempted when the company has succeeded in a more successful game.
Hearkening back to an interview with OXM in 2011 ahead of the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2, Kitase was asked about his approach to a Final Fantasy VII remake:
“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.”
Ask many writers or creators about the opportunity to recreate their earlier works, ones that may even be much-beloved by fans, and they’ll tell you it’s still hard to dissuade revisionist tendencies. After time, further experience in your craft allows you to diagnose problems that may have otherwise been overlooked by your “inexperienced” self. Knowing this, Kitase is aware that many people appreciate Final Fantasy VII for what it is in light of its flaws.
“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. But if we did that, the fans might be disappointed or ‘this is not what I was expecting’ so in that sense maybe some might say that it’s better to let memory be memory.”
What about you? Are you resigned to “let memory be a memory” — letting Final Fantasy VII remain as it was in our minds? Or, do you think the time has come to remake the game, even with the risk of forever changing its legacy? Leave us your thoughts in a comment below!
• “The director of Final Fantasy 7 on the remake everyone wants” — Eurogamer
• “Final Fantasy XIII-2: remaking FF7, Kinect RPGs and killing the “girly” feel” — OXM [Nov 2011]