Every year the Electronic Entertainment Expo sets the stage for the future of the gaming industry. In no other industry are future projects, reveals, teases, and show stopping moments taken and compiled into a single week. Every year E3 brings with it a sense of mystery and wonder (and leaks, oh the leaks) about the possibilities and appearances of your favorite studios and what games they may or may not be working on. Every year E3 brings with it wild rumors and speculation from the hopes of diehard fans from around the world, waiting for that special announcement… the unexpected, the impossible.
A little while ago Square-Enix effectively trolled its audience back in December at the PlayStation Experience. Shinji Hashimoto came out and talked Final Fantasy VII… the upgraded PC version. Watching online you could feel the hype emulating from the audience subside into agony when it wasn’t the remake they were anticipating Hashimoto was about to reveal. Yesterday at the PlayStation E3 press conference that moment was rectified. Final Fantasy VII will be getting a full remake for the next generation of consoles. Details are scarce but it will be coming to PlayStation 4 first, then to Xbox One. The way Square-Enix is working lately, a PC release cannot be ruled out at one point as well.
Watching and listening to the E3 audience erupt sets the tone about how important this game is for JRPGs. More importantly for the stagnant reception of JRPGs in the West. Its success both critically and commercially could set the tone with the JRPG industry in general when it eventually releases. Its going to be tough on the development team going forward. With a remake of this magnitude, Square has to realize the game will not be received as well as the original. It will be scrutinized and criticized down to every little detail. There is no confirmation on whether the game will be turn based or more action-oriented similar to Final Fantasy XV. Regardless of what direction they want to take, Square must understand that pleasing all fans of the game is impossible. We’ll always have the original turn-based classic. I hope that whatever path they choose, they choose it with conviction, creativity, and ingenuity. Then, and only then, they will be able to produce a game that defies expectations.