Legions of fans fondly remember Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts, even if Donald’s voice is essentially an assault on our ears. That’s why you’ll probably be heartbroken to hear that both the Final Fantasy VII remake and Kingdom Hearts III have been delayed. In a financial briefing released March 31, 2017, Square Enix president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda announced that these titles are planned to launch “in the next three years or so.”
This comes as a crushing blow to thousands of fans. Many gamers have been eagerly waiting for these titles for years. Kingdom Hearts fans are probably more devastated by the news, as it has been over a decade since Kingdom Hearts II was released. As it stands the earliest we will be able to play these games will be in 2020. This contrasts sharply with earlier speculations that the games would be released some time in 2018.
No definitive answer has been given for the delay, but evidence suggests that a recent development change is to blame for FFVII’s delay. Until recently, CyberConnect2 was in charge of the Final Fantasy VII remake. The studio is perhaps best known for its involvement in the .hack and Naruto games. However, this has since changed, with the project now being developed as an in-house game by Square Enix. In a briefing it was stated that the company “want[ed] to control quality as well as keeping the schedule stable.”
It’s unclear whether this change affected the development of Kingdom Hearts III, but past updates have suggested the game wasn’t as polished as some assumed. Earlier this year the game’s director, Tetsuya Nomura, has been quoted saying we “still have a way to go” to finish the game, going so far to apologize as well. Perhaps this year’s E3 conference can provide some much needed updates on the projects.
While the news can be discouraging, we should take solace in the fact that the games are being developed with updates provided. Hell, I have been waiting for Half-Life 3 news for nearly 15 years so this doesn’t seem bad in comparison. I have to wonder though, could these titles have been delayed to be included in the next-gen consoles? Both Xbox One and PS4 are nearing the average console lifespan and the timing does coincide with possible release dates. No one can deny that both games would make excellent launch titles. Though this is purely speculation.
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