Fans waiting for the Final Fantasy VII remake got an important update, although it might not exactly be the news they wanted. During a conversation between Square Enix's Tetsuya Nomura, producer Yoshinori Kitase, and development lead Naoki Hamaguchi, the three Final Fantasy veterans confirmed a release window for the upcoming remake. The goal is to have the role-playing game released on PlayStation 4 before the series' 35th anniversary, which would be in the year 2023.
Originally unveiled during PlayStation's E3 2015 press conference, the Final Fantasy VII remake has long been a dream title for many gamers. The iconic role-playing game sold millions of copies when it was released in 1997 for PlayStation, and became beloved for its cast of characters. It was also a technical marvel at the time of the release, and marked the first mainline Final Fantasy game to use 3D polygons rather than two-dimensional sprites.
The news comes from a Final Fantasy 30th anniversary exhibition that Square Enix recently held in Japan. Part of the show was a panel between the three influential leads on the Final Fantasy series, and audio from it has been translated. While the new 2023 release window isn't a firm date, and Hamaguchi told those in attendance that it was "a ways off," at least fans now have a better timeframe of when to expect the remake.
Other new details revealed during the panel include redesigns for several characters. Biggs and Wedge are said to look "completely different" from how they looked in previous trailers. Overall, the team believes development is going smoothly, and that they're currently working on "something we've never seen before" that players should be excited for.
2023 may seem like a long ways off, but Square Enix has never been a company that rushes their development of larger titles. Kingdom Hearts 3 has become the butt of many jokes due to its prolonged development cycle, and the Final Fantasy VII remake hasn't had the best start considering developer CyberConnect2 was removed from the project. The Japanese publisher is very aware of how important the remake is to fans, and they want it to be done the right way. If that means taking several more years to develop than fans would ideally want than so be it.
The Final Fantasy VII remake is currently confirmed to be in development for PlayStation 4, and will hopefully release before 2023.