Square Enix’s CEO Yosuke Matsuda: Remakes must surpass original, why Final Fantasy 7 Remake is episodic

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Yosuke Matsuda, Square Enix’s president and CEO, opened up about remaking their classic title Final Fantasy VII. He explained they wouldn’t have accepted the project unless his team could surpass the original. That statement remains valid for any future remakes Square Enix plans to do moving forward.

Speaking with GameInformer, Matsuda explained they are open to remaking more games in a similar vein to that of Final Fantasy 7. But they want to do it for the right reasons, and only if they can improve upon the original game.

“Remakes are harder, more challenging than you might think,” Matsuda said. “Just by nature of being a remake, it means that there was an original and I believe that you have to be able to surpass the original. It’s not enough just to do straight reprints of the old one because you also want to get new fans to be able to enjoy it. There are the old fans who know the old game, and at the same time, you want new people to enjoy it. I think you really need to achieve both of these things and that’s why I say it’s quite challenging.”

He also discussed why the development team behind the Final Fantasy 7 Remake took the episodic approach to the game. It was because of the magnitude of the project. Additionally, the developers for Square Enix understand the title’s significance to fans, and they want to ensure to make a compelling modern approach to Final Fantasy 7 while wanting each episode in the remake to feel like a standalone title.

“Of course, the development team would have had a variety of discussions about how they should go about taking such a famous game as a Final Fantasy VII and remaking that for modern day,” Matsuda said. “I believe that this style of releasing it like this is something that was born of those discussions. But it is true that each of the individual games will be released as independent games. That’s how the development team is making them. And so for that reason, I’d like for you to think of them as something you can play as standalone and itself contains a game and I think that they will be worth playing in that way.”

Final Fantasy 7 Remake is due for release on March 3, 2020. The game had a gameplay trailer at this year’s E3, where it highlighted the new real-time combat system alongside the classic ATB system. The gameplay trailer highlighted the game’s first boss fight where Barrett and Cloud are fighting the Guard Scorpion.

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