Please don’t be Final Fantasy XV all over again…
Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake are two games that a lot of people are looking forward to. One of them is a remake of one of the most important, and to many, best games of all time. The other is the conclusion to a series that everyone didn’t realize they needed until they had it. Every piece of information about them sends people into a frenzy. To say the hype is real when it comes to these two games would be a massive understatement.
Unfortunately, the hype for these two games (it’s honestly hard to tell which has more behind it, even taking FF7 Remake’s episodic controversy into account) is so real, that Square Enix may have ended up doing their jobs a little too well. Last week, they listed the games that’ll be releasing between now and the end of the fiscal year, which is March 2017. While highly anticipated games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the PS4 version of Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Final Fantasy XV are on the slate to arrive before next March, neither FF7 Remake or KH3 are on there. While this isn’t entirely surprising, it does make one wonder why Square Enix even bothered to announce the games at all if there’s not a real, tangible release date in sight.
Obviously, the answer is that they wanted to build up hype, because that’s how things work in this day and age. The internet has allowed fandoms and sub-fandoms to grow and expand rapidly like a colony of ants and connect people all around the world. Also expanded is the need for more information that comes with a property that we love (hey, who do you think Rey’s parents are in Star Wars?), a need that can never truly be sated until we actually… y’know, get the product in our hands.
Fans have been demanding KH3 since the release of the second game over a decade ago (pre-production began back in 2006), and a remake for FF7 has been demanded since back in the PS3 era. Come June, it’ll have been three years since the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3. What’s stopping them from dragging that out even further for another E3 or two? It has only been about a year since the announcement of FF7 Remake, but fans have a right to be wary when thinking of this and the announcement of an episodic release. After all, it’s already very likely that fans will have to wait at least 10 months until the first part under the most optimistic of scenarios. What does that say about the other two parts of the game?
It’s one thing to announce a video game with a release date or window in sight, only to shift it around, which is what we’ve seen with Deus Ex, Arkham Knight, and the recently released Uncharted 4. But announcing a game with no real window aside from “when it’s done”? Yeah, that’s got to stop. Look at Fallout 4: they just dropped the bomb about it at E3 last year with a set release date after working on it for years, and then they nailed that release. That’s how it should be done.
As mentioned earlier, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy VII are mega important games, and Square Enix is a mega important studio. By the time Final Fantasy XV releases on Sept. 30, it’ll have been the culmination of over a decade of waiting. While this wasn’t entirely the fault of Square Enix a decade ago, in hindsight, it can be agreed upon that maybe announcing Final Fantasy Versus XIII so early wasn’t the best idea. The whole decade worth of expectations could have been avoided. The same may end of being said of Kingdom Hearts 3 and FF VII Remake if Square Enix doesn’t pick up the pace. If not, then maybe it will at least show others what not to do when it comes to announcing their big-name games way ahead of time.