Remaking a classic takes time. Mechanics have to be modernized, visuals have to be updated and essentially you’re practically tearing the game down to build from the ground up. It took years to get to the point where the Final Fantasy VII Remake could be released to the public. But, this isn’t the full release, it actually isn’t close, because what will be arriving will be essentially the beginning of the game.
The sections involving Midgar during the original release made up just about the first third of the game and that’s being generous. While that seems like consumers are being shortchanged, in reality, Midgard has been greatly expanded upon for the Remake. It will still be the first part, yes, but it will also be a significant experience, running for around 60 hours or so . Players will get their bang for their buck, but the fact remains that the game is still incomplete.
Remember that the original game released over two decades ago and the technological limitations may have stifled the creators vision. So, Midgard may have played a bigger role, hence why it’s being expanded upon. Now, this begs the question, if Midgard was only a third and it took years to get here, how long will the wait be for the rest of the remake?
The better question to ask, is how long are fans willing to wait for a game that is essentially piece-mealed to them. Because once the first part of the remake concludes, there will be a “to be continued” in the credits. Its guaranteed. This is going to bring about a number of questions. Fans have waited for years and the fact that just Midgard took this long to develop, could hint that the rest may take significant time to release.
It would be ideal, if not perfect, that the next parts release in a yearly fashion. The experiences would be fresh in fans minds and it would help quell any anger or anxiety that will come with a longer wait. Realistically, I can see the rest of the parts releasing in an increment of two or three years. This is keeping in mind of the fact that there is a ton of content that comes with the subsequent parts.
Characters, such as Yuffie, Vincent, Cait Sth, and Cid have yet to be introduced and then theres the open world travel. How is that going to work? The first part of the remake is over 100GB, which is massive in itself. If there are three parts, which might be generous, then that is around 300+ GB of game. To say that the scope has been expanded is an understatement. This might just be the original vision for the game, and while it definitely feels like overkill, at least it will never have to be remade again. I’m a glass half full kind of guy.
Square Enix however, is playing a dangerous game. This isn’t a sequel like Kingdom Hearts 3 or a continuation like Final Fantasy XV. Those were given leeway because of original content found within those respective titles. The difference is that people know what to expect with Final Fantasy VII, this is a title many people are familiar with, and while it is appreciated that a remake is coming, releasing it in parts may be a dealbreaker for some.
The demo was a glimpse of what’s to come and what’s there feels fantastic. But fans will be aware that this is just a small part. If it happens to be critical and commercisl success, then the demand for the follow-ups will be high. Square could damage future sales if the delay is too long. But honestly, its going to have to be as there is no way that the follow-ups won’t be as in-depth as the first part. Series creator Tetsuya Nomura may have unintentionally created a monster due to lofty ambitions and this may affect Square’s plans moving forward.
Remember when Final Fantasy XV was released practically unfinished? A number of DLC was released to flesh out the story and make sense of some massive plot holes. If Square wants to keep fans happy, it wouldn’t be unrealistic for the publisher to get involved with development, especially if sales end up being better than expected. Imagine the displeasure shown by fans who are forced to wait a lengthy period of time for another part to release. Things could get hectic in a hurry and could affect the quality of future parts.
It will be interesting to monitor how things proceed moving forward. April 10th is rapidly approaching and the Final Fantasy VII Remake should without question be a critical and commercial success. No matter what happens though, questions will remain as to why this had to be released in parts and how long will the wait be for the rest of the game. Its understandable that fans can only be patient for so long before they become frustrated. One thing is for sure, this is a bold approach by Square but one that may end up backfiring.