Square Enix was responsible for some of the greatest games of the 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit eras, both through the Final Fantasy series of Squaresoft and the Dragon Quest series of Enix, as well as numerous other titles. Square Enix is currently in the process of remaking games like Final Fantasy VII and Trials of Mana, but one of the most important people at the company has stressed that a game will only be remade if it will surpass the original.
Square Enix CEO and president Yosuke Matsuda spoke to Game Informer at E3 2019 and was asked about the decision process that goes into choosing between a remake of a game, or deciding to release a port of the original. Final Fantasy VII is an example of both happening at once, as the game is being remade in a new form, as well as the original version between upgraded for modern systems.
Matsuda believes that Square Enix will revive any series, so long as it's popular, but there is more that goes into the decision to remake a game than simply profit.
"Remakes are harder, more challenging than you might think," he 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."
The decision to remake Final Fantasy VII must have seemed like an easy one from the stance of its potential audience, but there are a lot of other classic Square Enix titles that the company might struggle to top. Would Square Enix ever be willing to remake a classic like Chrono Trigger, which is about as perfect as a video game can get?
The possibility of Square Enix remaking more of its older titles is a tantalizing one, especially to the fans of series that have seemingly been abandoned, such as Parasite Eve, or even some of the Final Fantasy spin-offs, like Final Fantasy Tactics. The question now is whether the company will go through with the daunting prospect of remaking so many of its classic titles for modern systems, especially with the boundaries that it has set.