2012 is the 15th Anniversary of Final Fantasy VII‘s release and the 10th Anniversary of Final Fantasy XI‘s inception. Famitsu sat down with Square Enix staff including Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura to discuss the past as well as the present.
As you might have been aware, there’s a large demand for a Final Fantasy VII remake — to which Tetsuya Nomura addressed fans that newer games (such as Final Fantasy Versus XIII) take precedent over such projects. Why? Nomura states that they want to create new Final Fantasy games that can surpass peoples’ expectations instead of remaking classics. A Final Fantasy VII remake or a new Final Fantasy that is just as good or better.
Nomura went on to say that Final Fantasy producer and 1st Production Department head Yoshinori Kitase is the successor to the Final Fantasy legacy after creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. Sakaguchi, in past interviews, has also expressed his trust in Kitase as the heir tho the franchise he started.
“I still go out drinking with Yoshinori Kitase, the current producer of Final Fantasy, once in a while, and on those occasions he does tell me that it’s all fine. Sometimes, I personally complain a little bit about certain things about the franchise. But when I left Square, I left the franchise in Kitase’s hands, and he promised me he would protect and progress the Final Fantasy brand. He has been my right-hand man since round about the middle of Final Fantasy III, and therefore I have a lot of trust in him.”
In past interviews on the subject of a Final Fantasy VII remake, Kitase treads carefully — stating that there are certain pitfalls and challenges with such a project. Firstly, the company’s manpower was (and is) devoted to their current games and it would be a costly project to undertake. Secondly, there’s always the huge amount of nostalgia and high expectation to live up to — so much so that a remake may end up disappointing more fans than pleasing them.
As developers, there would be a desire to recreate the game faithfully while making tasteful improvements. This would include refining the game’s elements or removing features that didn’t work. However, many of these things — even imperfections — give the game it’s unique character as Kitase put it. With so much hype to live up to, he concluded that it might be best to keep the memory of Final Fantasy VII as it is.
On the lighter side of things, Nomura talked a bit about the development of Final Fantasy VII — letting us know that the character Yuffie was originally imagined as more of a fugitive (which isn’t a large stretch of the imagination) and her wanted poster would appear in the game. Other party members that join you would receive wanted posters, the last remaining members of AVALANCHE.
Famitsu also has an interview with the staff of Final Fantasy XI, details of which have yet to surface online. Stay tuned to Final Fantasy Network!