Final Fantasy 8 Remastered took so long because of graphical updates

At E3 2019, Square Enix finally revealed Final Fantasy 8 Remastered. The reveal came long after just about every other entry in the series was remastered in some form or another. Now, director Yoshinori Kitase has revealed why it took Square Enix so long to announce the FF8 remaster.

In an interview with Famitsu, Kitase stated that the remaster of Final Fantasy 8 had actually been in development for a while. However, Square Enix originally planned to release the game on modern hardware as-is, with no updates whatsoever. That said, right as the game was about to go gold, they decided that they were going to update its character models after all. This resulted in the team delaying the game’s announcement.

As for why Kitase and his team decided to rework the game’s graphics, this was mostly due to the fact that Final Fantasy 8 is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Additionally, Kitase also mentioned that with the move to high-definition displays, a graphical improvement was necessary.

Of course, changing plans at the last minute was rough on the team. To this, Kitase credited battle programmer Hiroshi Harada, character modeler Tomohiro Kayano, and character designer Tetsuya Nomura, all of whom worked on the original game, for their efforts to complete the graphical overhaul for the remaster.

Interestingly enough, Kitase did not make any mention at all of any issues with the game’ source code. Squaresoft gained something of a reputation in the 90s for not preserving source codes for games. As such, some fans speculated that the delay was due to Square Enix not having the original source code for Final Fantasy 8. Kitase not mentioning any issues with it seems to put this speculation to rest.

Square Enix seems like it’s trying to make up for how long it took to announce Final Fantasy 8 Remastered by making it look and sound as good as possible. In addition to the updated character models, it’s also making sure that the game contains the original PlayStation soundtrack, and not the slightly altered music from the earlier PC ports.

Will this make it the definitive version of the game? Fans will find out when Final Fantasy 8 Remastered arrives on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC later this year.