Highly anticipated: Since its announcement in 2015, we have not received much news or information regarding the Final Fantasy VII remake. A tight lid on development has kept rumors of the project to a minimum. In fact, the only real glimpses we have gotten of its progress has been through Square Enix job listings.
Over the weekend the company posted that it was looking for a “3DCG Designer.” There is nothing unusual about that considering that developers have chosen to use Unreal Engine 4 to power the game. Plus it only makes sense that a modern remake is going to be rendered in 3D.
What is of interest is the job description calls it an “action game." Of course, in Japan the term action game is used in a very general sense. It has been used to describe action RPGs as well as genuine action titles. The general sense from the listing is that the Final Fantasy VII remake would have action elements.
Under the "Perks" section, Square Enix says, “It is an opportunity to offer the world a new Final Fantasy with action factors added to conventional strategy.”
This revelation would seem to settle the debate over whether designers would keep the original FFVII combat system, or switch to something similar to newer iterations of the franchise.
While the original Final Fantasy VII used Hiroyuki Ito’s Active Time Battle (ATB) system, modern titles, such as FFXV, have adopted more action-oriented combat. Hardcore purists might be disappointed that the ATB system is not being brought back for the remake, but a recent straw poll shows fans are about equally divided on what type of combat system they would prefer for the game.
There is still no word on when to expect Final Fantasy VII Remake to hit store shelves, but since it was a no-show at E3 this year, chances are the release date is still quite far off. In an interview with The Verge just after E3, Game Director Tetsuya Nomura said FFVII was being developed “in parallel” with Kingdom Hearts III and that he has been hectically dividing his time between the two projects.
“So right now, it’s like I’ve been putting in 100 percent into Kingdom Hearts, 100 percent into Final Fantasy VII, 100 percent into Kingdom Hearts... just going back and forth,” the director said.
Once Kingdom Hearts releases in January 2019, Nomura said he would devote all his time to finishing Final Fantasy VII. It seems unlikely that it will launch before the end of 2019 — 2020 is a possibility, but until Square Enix gives us an official progress report, that is just a wild guess.