Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis promises to be the compilation and remake that many Final Fantasy fans have been clamoring for for years. However, developer Square Enix seems to be making the same mistake with Ever Crisis as with Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, along with its other defunct mobile titles. The company is trying to pursue the lucrative mobile gaming market by using the most famous icons available to it while ignoring why fans enjoyed those characters and stories in the first place.
Ever Crisis is an upcoming RPG for Android and iOS devices that aims to retell the story of the Compilation of FF7 and add new lore and pieces of narrative that have yet to appear in other mediums. The game features turn-based battles and uses a gacha system to unlock new gear. Notably, Ever Crisis will feature the first-ever English adaptation of Before Crisis, a Japan-exclusive mobile title that starred the Turks in the days before FF7.
The Final Fantasy Audience Is Primarily On PC & Console
Ever Crisis isn’t the first mobile game set in the Final Fantasy VII universe, as a battle royale called The First Soldier was released in 2021. The First Soldier didn’t even last a full year before its service was shut down, despite including lots of fan service for FF7 fans, such as making the blocky PlayStation 1 sprite version of the characters playable and adding summons to the battlefields.
There are Final Fantasy mobile games, but most are crossover titles featuring heroes and villains from throughout the series. The issue with making a game based solely on FF7 and FF7 Remake is that the audience for those games is primarily on PC and consoles. One of the reasons The First Soldier failed is that it only launched on mobile devices and required a phone with decent specs to run, drastically narrowing the audience for the game, especially in a market that’s oversaturated with battle royales.
If The First Soldier had launched on other platforms, it would have reached a wider audience and entered the grasp of fans of the license. Final Fantasy 7 is one of Square Enix’s most well-known IPs, and a well-made shooter in that universe could have had legs if more people had the chance to play it.
Ever Crisis faces the same issue, with an even steeper climb uphill, as regular shooter fans could enjoy The First Soldier, but Ever Crisis is made for the FF7 diehards. The game is all about fanservice and lore, yet it’s unavailable on the systems where the fans who would care reside.
There’s No Allure To New Final Fantasy 7 Lore (As It Will All Be Online Anyway)
One aspect of Ever Crisis that Square Enix has heavily pushed is the new lore. There will be a segment exploring Sephiroth’s backstory, which is something that has barely been touched on in FF7 media. Even the other prequels (Crisis Core and Before Crisis) had little new information about Sephiroth’s youth.
The problem with using lore as a selling point is that we live in an age where information about games is uploaded shortly after it reaches the fans. If there are any interesting tidbits about Sephiroth’s life or any earth-shattering revelations about the Shinra Corporation revealed in Ever Crisis, then it will be covered to death by websites and Youtubers within days. This means there’s little incentive to play the game just to learn more when it’ll all be available for free.
Ever Crisis has to survive on its gameplay, which combines the turn-based RPG mechanics of the original FF7 with the graphical style of the Remake, at least in combat. What’s been shown of the combat system in Ever Crisis looks uninspired, carrying all of the hallmarks of the gacha game genre right down to auto-battle mode. In the end, the game’s goal is to extract money from the player, and the FF7 license has already failed to do that once in recent times, so hopes aren’t high that Ever Crisis can succeed where The First Soldier failed.
Square Enix Needs To Put Its Mobile Games On Other Platforms
If Ever Crisis is to survive, it needs to be put on the platforms where the Final Fantasy VII fanbase resides. The gameplay videos and previews for the game are filled with comments from fans asking for a PC or PS5 port, as they’re interested in seeing more of the beloved characters from FF7. As it stands, Ever Crisis is only pegged for Android and iOS release, with Square Enix giving no hints regarding a multi-platform release.
It’s understandable why Square Enix would want to court the mobile gaming market and why it would use some of its most famous characters to try and appeal to a new audience, but it keeps ignoring the fans who actually care about this setting. Ever Crisis might look ugly as sin on PC or PS5, but fans don’t care about visuals if the gameplay and story are good. By restricting Ever Crisis to mobile devices, Square Enix is missing out on money and incentivizing the most dedicated fans to seek out the game’s secrets via Google rather than actually playing the game.