So, the Final Fantasy 7 remake and Kingdom Hearts 3… just what’s going on with those two titles? That’s exactly the trouble, we don’t really know. The games’ director, Tetsuya Nomura, has spoken out about the perils of early reveals.
You’ve got to feel for the dev teams at times, you really do. This industry can be a super harsh place, and it’s just impossible for them to win a lot of the time. If you release a series entry that plays it too safe and is too close to what’s come before, you’re resting on your laurels. You’re being lazy and cashing in. If you stray too far from the formula, on the other hand, you’ve ruined the franchise. Consider yourself boycotted.
That balance is an incredibly difficult one to achieve, however talented your team may be. That concept of having to get things just right applies to other aspects of the industry, too. When you’ve got a big reveal to make, when’s the best time to unleash it? If you’ve got nothing more to show than a logo at E3, fans will get expectant. If you wait too long, you risk a whole different kind of backlash.
As Nomura himself told Italian magazine Multiplayer, both the much-ballyhooed Final Fantasy 7 remake and Kingdom Hearts 3 fell victim to this. They were just revealed too early. Explaining why Square Enix made the announcement, he cites the pressures of constant fan queries, the danger of spoilers or accidental reveals (which are rife in gaming) and the possibility that fans will take rumours as fact.
As far as Final Fantasy 7 is concerned, Nomura lamented, “I am well aware of the fact that we announced it too early, but even in the industry, word was beginning to spread that we were working on the game, so we just decided not to keep it more secret and officially reveal it.”
That’s the trouble, when you’re dealing with a game as hotly anticipated as the remake of Final Fantasy 7. Once you’ve got that official word, you want to hear more. You want a blow-by-blow account of its progress. You want to be playing it right now. When they promised to ‘exceed the original,’ that was it. Those are fighting, hype-ing words.
The sad fact is, we just haven’t seen very much of either of these projects to satisfy us. They weren’t at a stage where any gameplay videos or great details could do them justice, which is frustrating for the devs and fans alike. Which is exactly what Nomura is getting at here.