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The Great Compromise: Final Fantasy VII
Posted on Friday, March 7 2014 @ 08:42:06 PST

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.
[Yep, I flipped the image... see what I did there? Ed. Nick]

I was not originally a fan of FFVII; in fact, I remember looking at the commercials in the '90s and finally purchasing the game only to realize the commercials only showed CGI scenes. I was young and needless to say the stark contrast between the CGI segments portrayed in the commercials and the first segment of gameplay provided enough shock for me to initially want to instantly return the game. It was not what I thought I had bought. Luckily, I gave it a weekend to grow on me and as I started to understand the mechanics of magic and leveling and in general how to play an RPG I ended up falling in love with this little gem of a game. It was my first RPG and to this day still holds a special place amongst the hundreds of games I have played since then. To some extent I am a bit of a fanboy, but I think most gamers can relate to the nostalgia associated with their first great gaming experience regardless of title, console, or time of release. It’s one of those special moments that transcend time.
With that said, I am honestly just tired of the excuses as to why the game can’t even begin to start the steps of being remastered. I look at Kitase’s comments in the article, “Final Fantasy VII Director Discusses Possible Remake” and it just seems like bull. Kitase states:
“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.”
(1) The game has been out since 1997. “YOU” do not have to direct a remake! With the game having been out now for approximately 17yrs I am hard pressed to believe another director with the right amount of skill and love for the franchise could not do it justice. Someone else is in and you’re ****ing out! One box checked off.
(2) But you still need the resources and time to create. If SquareEnix doesn’t want to do the remake, sell off the rights with certain stipulations as to what a remake must entail to carry the name. So even if SE sells the rights, who has the money and people to do the project? In recent years there has been this really innovative fund raising mechanism introduced called “Kickstarter” where people (you know the individuals who buy games) invest in games they would like to see made. Aside from that, have you guys been keeping up on the amount of talent that continues to get laid off as large projects are completed and companies continue to close and consolidate?
*Oblivion’s piece on hurdles to a FFVII remake touch on several issues addressed by points 1 & 2. With regard to his concern of the biggest hurdle of all being accessing the original assets I would take this with a grain of salt in that they haven’t gotten past making excuses of “Why not” in order to truly assess what they have access to and what would need to be recreated. It could be one of the greatest hurdles or it could be not as significant, but you actually have to begin the process of considering making the remake before just relegating it to the insurmountable.
This takes me to one of the most significant hurdles to making a FFVII and that is “Fear” and an unrealized mission. We have DLC, because consumers want it and are willing to pay for it. We see sequels to games that have a mediocre reception because consumers want it and are willing to pay for it. The fact that a company can disregard such a significant demand until they create a more successful game in the series speaks to two very important things:
(1) Did you forget who you make games for?
(2) What does making something “Better” have to do with providing another great experience that your consumers are asking for?
I don’t honestly want a direct remake but rather a reboot of the series using current assets to take us back to that world I came to love at such a young age. Don’t shoot for a direct remake because I agree with MattAY when he states:
“You know, I'm not so sure that even a remake will capture the true nostalgia of the original FF7. I think to do that[,] someone will have to come up with an invention to wipe selective memories so you can live through the tale once again! Knowing what's going to happen won't make the game truly as it were, no matter how pretty it looks.

It's like wishing you could play through a game for the first time again so you have the same thrilling experience - like Bioshock, Metal Gear [Solid,] etc. It will never come around again and all you can do is be thankful you got to play this wonderful immersive journey!”
However, there is so much potential that I believe if SE actually respected their consumers they could get away with an honest disclaimer in the vein of something like this:
“For over 17 years we have received requests to recreate FFVII, and we have heard you. FFVII was the most successful game in the series and from the ongoing demand for a remake it is apparent it has had a lasting effect on the gaming industry as a whole. Unfortunately, we believe like many others that while we may be able to create a visually updated remake, certain intangible aspects of what made that game one of our finest offerings such as the timing, game environment, and audience, etc… have significantly changed. However, we cannot let your voices go unheard, so we wish to revisit the universe that triggers nostalgia in so many of our great customers.”
*They could then go on to expound on ways in which the new adventure harkens back to the original with old school battle mechanics and a familiar world with familiar characters but has been updated graphically, etc… I would even go Dominoes and point out some of the aspects of their recent entries which received the most negative feedback and demonstrate how they have been removed in this new adventure to stay true to its roots.
I think this type of compromise, can reinvigorate a franchise that has been slowly declining in the last 15 years, address the demand of the current market, restore confidence to your purchaser base, and finally provide additional revenue and breathing room to work on original IPs. If they went this route I could easily see 2-4 spin-offs over a 3-5 year period. Seriously, if you could stretch out XIII over 3 or 4 entries with a story like that…do we really need to assume?

The opinions expressed here does not necessarily reflect the views of Game Revolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted originally on March 5, 2014, has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan 
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