It’s fair to say that the vast majority of the gaming community were surprised to learn that finally – finally – Square Enix would revisit its treasured Final Fantasy VII and release a bona fide remake. In truth, it was an announcement long in the making, but it was also one that surprised the game’s director and long-time Square developer, Tetsuya Nomura.
Speaking in an interview with Famitsu – translated by Kotaku – the esteemed creator revealed that he wasn’t aware of the extent of his own involvement until an internal demonstration. Up until that point, Nomura, who is also overseeing the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III, had assumed that Yoshinori Kitase – Game Director on the original 1997 classic – would take point on the remake.
“Mr. Hashimoto was involved with the advertising and marketing of the original, so like [Mr. Kitase and myself], VII has a strong place in his heart,” Nomura explained. “As preproduction went along and I offered my opinions on what I thought should be done, Mr. [Yoshinori Kitase, director of the original] would ask me how the individual elements should be adjusted in fine detail. It was very perplexing.”
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so, the CG reveal trailer showcased a completely revamped version of Midgar replete with a foreboding voiceover. The money shot, however, was when the camera pans down to reveal Barret and Cloud trudging through the slums, with the narrator indicating that a “promise has been made.”
While the excitement coming out of the reveal was fever-pitch, it’s unclear just how far along in development the Final Fantasy VII Remake really is. During Sony’s conference, there was nary a mention of a release date, and when you couple this with Nomura’s surprise to learn he was directing the project, it’s safe to say that the high-res version of Midgar isn’t likely to make its debut on PlayStation 4 until 2017.