Could This Fantasy Be Turning into a Nightmare?
Final Fantasy VII

The phrase "too big to fail" has been thrown around from time to time. It tends to be thrown around when referring to banks, but we may have an instance where it alludes to games. Name, it could be applied to the Final Fantasy VII remake. Perhaps Square Enix has reached a position where failure isn't an option anymore. Maybe there it is in a place where no matter what, it will succeed.

This doesn't mean the Final Fantasy VII remake is guaranteed to be a good game. Rather, it is in a position where its quality won't matter. At least, for the first part it won't. The title is so in demand and so over-hyped that it is going to sell. People are going to opt into it and grab the initial release when it appears, because the trickle feed since 2015 has left it looking like the sort of dream-fulfillment people have wanted for ages. 

The time it has taken to get Final Fantasy VII again hasn't been held against it. People are eager for any drop of information that arrives. When the new trailer was shown at the second ever Sony State of Play in May 2019, people went nuts. It was the first time seeing and hearing Aerith and Barret in this new version of the game. While some took issue with Barret's voice actor, people were still ravenous. The clip inspired such fervor, especially when it suggested more information is yet to come.

Think about this. How many other companies could get away with revealing a game at E3 2015, teasing it further at the 2015 PlayStation Experience, then largely disappearing until May 2019? If you answered none, you would probably be right. Yet Square Enix pulled it off, and people are still invested. They still care and want to both talk about and likely play the game.

The idea of it being episodic isn't turning people off. When it was first revealed to be the sort of game that will be released in parts, people had a lot to say about it. Things were debated. More than a few suggested it was a bad idea and they wouldn't want it. But, again, that isn't keeping people away. In fact, maybe it will help draw more people into it. Getting into one piece of a greater whole would be easier to justify, considering the lower price point and time invested from such an episode. The first episode could be bad and not cover enough, maybe even only the first continent, but it won't matter. It will still make money at this point.

Final Fantasy VII

Perhaps other things assuring Final Fantasy VII remake's success are Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III. These Square Enix games also experienced prolonged development cycles and design decisions that could have turned people off. Yet, both ended up being huge successes for the company. Kingdom Hearts III was officially announced in 2013, but didn't end up appearing until 2019. Final Fantasy XV and the changes it went through from its 2006 beginnings until 2016 still resulted in a title that people loved. Not only that, it inspired an episodic Pocket Edition that was also successful. The company has proved it bounces back, leading to more goodwill toward this project.

The Final Fantasy VII remake could very well end up being a mistake. It might not end up being like anything we expect. It being episodic could kill the flow. But, at this point, all of that might not matter. Too many people are invested in it, for better or worse. Even if it isn't great, people will give the first episode a shot. Maybe they want to see if it can be pulled off. Perhaps nostalgia will make them cave. It is going to make money, and what's left now to see if it will make history and be fondly remembered. 

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada

Writing Team
Date: 05/22/2019

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