Final Fantasy VII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura talked about the development focus of making something that can delight both old and new fans alike, and more in an interview with 4Gamer.
4Gamer: Thank you for today. There’s been a delay of a month, but is development looking favorable heading into its April 10th release date?
Tetsuya Nomura: “Yes, it’s all right now. We needed a little more time for some of the last quality improvements, but it has already gone gold and there won’t be any further delays.”
I’m looking forward to its release, at last. I’d like to ask again, but as you remake Final Fantasy VII, I’m sure there was discussion regarding let’s change this or let’s leave this the same. What points did you focus on while developing the remake?
Tetsuya Nomura: “We were very conscious about capturing those who are familiar with the original Final Fantasy VII and those who aren’t. I think that Final Fantasy VII is a famed title of ours, and many would say the same. However, 20 years have passed since the release of the original, so there’s a considerable amount of people who don’t know it.”
The young gamers see the first PlayStation itself as a retro game console these days, after all…
Tetsuya Nomura: “And they might be wondering ‘what was so great about Final Fantasy VII?’ So, if we’re going to do a remake in this era then it must be satisfying for the older fans, of course, and it must also be enjoyable for those who don’t know it in today’s generation.”
Is that partially why it has action-based combat?
Tetsuya Nomura: “That’s right. Real-time battles are the trend for games these days. While some may reject it, if we were going to make Final Fantasy VII in today’s generation, then we must steer towards real-time. We decided that from the very start of planning.”
If you make it in the same way as the original then it would end up being just Final Fantasy VII with pretty graphics.
Tetsuya Nomura: “While I believe some would be fine with that, if we were to remake it with the same structure from back then, we could have just supervised it and asked for external developers to do it. However, if we were going to do it ourselves then instead of doing the same as the original, we’d rather have something that can bring surprises to those who experienced the game back in the day. For that reason, we obsessively worked out the details for its making.”
It was around the time hardware went from Super Famicom to PlayStation, so I believe Final Fantasy VII saw some of the surprise and interest that came with the jump to 3D graphics. I think that matching that level of astonishment would be a tall order in today’s generation, but was there any pressure there?
Tetsuya Nomura: “I didn’t feel any pressure at all. The game design was real-time from the start and we had a proposition for something that satisfies both old and new fans. All we had to do was keep moving forward. To be honest, I didn’t have time to be feeling pressured. Of course, during development, I constantly thought about all the concerns from those who experienced the original, but I think it is shaping up to be a wonder for both new and old fans to experience. I look forward to having you play it.”