Square Enix has revealed that its anticipated Live A Live remake, which brings the SNES RPG to the west for the first time since its initial 1994 release, has been in development for three years. It’s not a particularly lengthy development schedule for modern games, but the HD-2D visuals and staff’s love of the game helped speed the process up.
Thanks to a Nintendo Everything translation of a Famitsu interview from earlier this year, we know that the Live A Live remake has been in development for the Nintendo Switch since “the beginning of 2019.” The original game’s director, Takashi Tokita, explained that the team “decided on HD-2D from the start.” This apparently shaved around six months off the schedule. Tokita adds that the development team “had no doubts that an HD-2D remake would be a good fit with the Super Famicom original” and that Square Enix’s previous work with the engine helped speed the process up.
Despite just taking three years to develop the game, Tokita thinks it could have been done sooner, explaining that remaking the game’s different scenarios “turned out to be more difficult” than the team expected. He blames the pandemic for the three-year development cycle, too, adding that “being in the middle of a pandemic meant it took [the team] some time to finish off the project.”
Tokita finally adds that “even during the development period, everyone had 1.5x the passion and momentum” due to their love of the original game. He claims that the remake has “ended up as something over and above” the development team’s expectations.” We’ll find out exactly how good the Live A Live remake is once it releases worldwide on July 22. After Live A Live, Square Enix has more HD-2D up its sleeves with a Dragon Quest III remake and potentially more.