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Producer Yoshinori Kitase discusses Final Fantasy VII Remake creative choices, vision, gameplay and more in Square Enix blogpost By Raptorchan on June 14, 2019 at 4:34 PM

Yoshinori Kitase, Producer of Final Fantasy VII Remake, has given a brief overview into the Remake project over on the official English website for Square Enix. He provides some insights into a few of the creative choices and briefly talks about what players can expect from the updated gameplay.

Also in the blog, Kitase clarifies a bit more on his previous statements regarding the span of FFVIIR games, and reveals that while he and his team are focused on getting the first game finished, they do have an internal schedule and plan for the future, and only wish to withhold that information for now in order to focus on the first game in the project.

From the blogpost:

“FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE is a reimagining of the iconic original game that goes much deeper into the world and characters of FINAL FANTASY VII than ever before.

Our goal with this project is to rebuild FINAL FANTASY VII for a new era. We’re not making a straight 1:1 copy or a simple remaster of the original game.

It’s a huge volume of work and data to re-imagine this world. Each game in the project will have a volume of content comparable to a standalone FINAL FANTASY. The disc version of the first game is actually a 2 Blu-Ray Disc set. This approach allows us to remake the original without having to scale back on everything players loved.”

“While the development team finish the first game in the project, we are continuing to plan and outline the overall volume of content for the second.

Due to the work already done on the first game we anticipate development of the second game to be more efficient. We have our own internal schedule and plan, but for now we’d like to focus our information on the first game in the project.

The key creative values of the core FINAL FANTASY series are innovation, pushing boundaries and surprising players, this project shares these same values and the development team view it as the next mainline FINAL FANTASY release.

For the original core members of the development team, simply recreating the original game with improved graphics wasn’t enough to get us invested and excited about remaking VII. To return, we want to go beyond the original, telling a deeper story and providing a modern gaming experience. We really want to go above and beyond what is expected of a remake.

As well as some of the core members of the original development team, we also have a dedicated in-house team of international gaming talent. Many of our new team members were young fans who played the original VII when it was first released. It’s very exciting and exhilarating to work with this talented team on such an ambitious project.”

“The first game in the project takes place in the eclectic city of Midgar, we chose to focus on Midgar as it best represents the world of VII as a location more than any other. Midgar is full of imagination with myriad influences and surprises around every corner.

While many people may think that Midgar is very dark at first glance, we have a design aesthetic where the city has strong elements of colour and variety. The lighting and colouring we are using throughout Midgar accentuate what is unique about FINAL FANTASY VII’s world. We decided not to use a photo-realistic approach with the design, but instead something more stylised, honouring the artistic designs and choices of the original.

A lot has changed since the release of the original FINAL FANTASY VII. Back then we didn’t have access to things like voice acting, performance and motion capture, or close-up cameras outside of cut-scenes. For FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE there’s a greater emphasis on character storytelling through the use of these techniques as well as some other new tech. This allows us to make these characters more expressive than ever, enhancing the levels of immersion and enjoyment through performance.

In REMAKE we are giving voice to the original FINAL FANTASY VII for the first time. By bringing in a new generation of actors, we hope to provide the best experience for original fans and new players.”

“For the gameplay, we are aiming to create a new take on classic concepts with an accessible evolution of the ATB system giving you greater action with tactical control.

The system we’ve created retains the strategic decisions of controlling multiple party members, allowing you to select from a wide range of abilities and spells. You can control your favourite character while issuing orders to others, or leave them to AI. And choose when to switch to a different party member to make best use of their unique abilities in battle. This allows all players to choose and enjoy your favourite way of playing.

Finally, yes we still have Materia. You can use it to tailor your play style and abilities.

We’ll go into greater detail on lots more gameplay elements as we get closer to the release next year. For now, I hope you are all excited by what we revealed at E3 and we look forward to sharing more news and updates with you across the year ahead.”

Final Fantasy VII Remake is scheduled to release on March 3rd, 2020 for PlayStation 4.

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  • Patrick Bateman

    New voice cast decision still makes 0 sense. That should have been established from the start. Shouldn’t have brought them back for the 2015 trailer that should’ve never even been released to begin with only to change them and scrap what ever voice work they did after.

    Call me salty, I am. Game looks amazing, can’t wait to play it and experience it all.

  • So… Because it’s for new audiences that mean, the original voices were “all wrong”?
    I still don’t see why they needed to be changed. Why ALL of them?
    And they didn’t “choose” to focus on Midgard. It literally is the first area/town of the game. That’s a no-brainer.

  • You’re not salty anymore than someone who was told one thing then given another. Why have Steve Burton introduce the idea of the remake with the first trailer, then drop him right after? MAKES NO SENSE.
    It’s the same tired line keep feeding us. “Oh it’s all-new so… uh… that means, everything must go from the original. That stuff is lame now that new young people are gonna play this.”
    Did new players who heard Cloud and Seph in Dissidia NT or KH1 and 2 feel like they didn’t like the voices?
    SMH It’s all a scam to switch actors and act like they’re doing us a favor.

  • I reserved the game, but I bet it gets pushed back the same way FFXV did. Mark my words.

  • Patrick Bateman

    Not just that, why weren’t any of the Japanese voices changed? This voice cast change was last minute which is why I’m so salty. I feel you 100% I think if they established this from the start I would’ve been okay with it, it’s like you said, the fact they teased us with the original cast and gave us false hope, only to switch it at the last second. It’s disrespectful to the original cast, the NEW cast as well since many are going to be scrutinized and receive hate even though they didn’t do anything wrong, and it’s disrespectful to the fans…

    No one to blame here but Square-Enix. Nothing but respect for all actors, original and new.

  • Patrick Bateman

    Also isn’t Biggs and Wedge the same voice actors from the 2015 trailer?

  • SNK

    Who’s going to miss any of the actors except for Vincent’s and Reno’s?

  • Because they’ll never be called up for face to face or on TV interviews. They want all of the main cast to be on the interview scene so that they can be the fresh new sexy faces for the game.
    I bet if we asked Nomura he was say “I didn’t want to change them.”
    This is some BS someone came up with on a whim and put their foot down about it even after a decade of Burton and Newbern putting in work.

  • Reminds me of the time the Breaking Bad guy who played Jesse was picked to be Nix in the FFXV movie. WHY? He added nothing to the character. The characters was just a generic filler character with no eccentricities or speech patterns. Nothing that REQUIRED some huge names or A-listers. Especially when everyone wanted Noctis as the focus of the movie.

    So here we are again. A bored PR team thinks all the US voices sucked, just cuz, and now it’s time to make waves and change them all. Like WTF? Not one was good enough to stick around but all the JPN ones were.

  • empirefall

    “By bringing in a new generation of actors, we hope to provide the best experience for original fans and new players” – wow that’s BS, I can understand that the actors in Advent children sound older now than they did back then (I do not think that fans who enjoyed advent children would even care) but as has been mentioned other by commenters, that does not go far enough to explain why the the Japanese voice actors were hired to reprise their roles in this remake

  • empirefall

    they still have 9 months to rectify this injustice

  • It is bullshit, thru and thru.
    If they really cared what new and old fans wanted. They’d ask. They didn’t.
    The years between 7 and AC are only 2.5 years and the adults playing the cast haven’t changed much. It would make more sense to get a new voice for Cloud and Seph in flashbacks to him hanging with Zack than the years of present day FF7.

  • empirefall

    they should at the very least given us a non-BS reason, such as, “we could not arrive at an agreeable payment settlement with the original actors,

    same this they did for Metal Gear Solid 5, these Japanese companies, man, do they think we are not going to notice or care

    I was about to mention the difference between the events of the game and film as well, although, it has been 14 years since advent children was released

  • that would make them look bad, so better to pretend the fans want new blood in teh english voice actors.
    14 years or not, Cloud and Seph are in Dissidia NT. If it’s okay there, it should be okay here.

  • Patrick Bateman

    Right? I mean if they could bring Haley Joel Osment, who’s 31 years old now, back for Sora in Kingdom Hearts 3, I don’t see what the issue was here. It has to have come down to trying to save money….it’s always about money…

  • Patrick Bateman

    You’re telling me you really didn’t like George Newbern as Sephiroth? and Steve Burton as Cloud in ANY game/media? Don’t confuse bad dialogue/writing for bad acting ” dilly-dally silly-sally” ….. there is NO way to say that and not sound ridiculous. The only voices that sucked were Cid imo and Cait Sith…

  • Naw, not “saving” money, just making more in the long run.
    They think Teen Wolf and Breaking Bad actors will make us “stupid Americans” cream all over ourselves to play games with them in it. So its worth it to pay these new re-cast actors for the role rather than keep a bunch of not-so-famous or teen heart-throb actors who are just known for their voices.

    Let’s be real, none of the original cast has been a heavy hitter in a blockbuster or TV screen scene in a long while. Cook is on Criminal Minds but that’s it. Most of the others are dub anime actors and a few do soap operas. That’s not what they want anymore. They wanna sell-out and focus on people big on MTV and AMC now. That’s why the Jesse guy (breaking bad) was picked for Nix in FFXV’s movie even though the Nix character and that actor are as bland as toast without butter.

  • CokaineCowboyFFVII

    The Advent Children voice actor’s were terrible anyway. Much prefer these new actors.

  • James Stine

    You guys might be taking this voice actor thing a little too seriously.

  • Patrick Bateman

    Maybe. I know things happen, it’s still fresh, we’ll get over it lol. It’s only a big deal to us because we care. For some of us it’s more than just a game. It’s an escape. Don’t see how it’s any different than people who hated Sonic’s look in the movie trailer and made it vocal and actually got the design changed. Not saying we’ll get this changed, but it’s on topic with the interview so we’ll talk about it. Hyped about the game, but the voices are kinda important in telling the story…some people are focused on Tifa’s chest, some are focused on the Battle System. Our gripe is the unnecessary change in the voice cast.

  • Patrick Bateman

    Skip to 12:00 mark and he goes into more depth about the voice change, Maximilian Dood was at E3 and gives info behind closed doors. Apparently old cast will still be used in everything not related to the Remake, so that could mean new Dissidia/new game with guest appearances…still kinda defeats the purpose imo, I’m sure the original cast were banking on the Remake being their holy grail of doing these characters, not just guest appearances in other games..better than nothing though!

    https://player.twitch.tv/?video=v438811036&player=twitter&autoplay=false

  • Wiccan

    Nothing is necessary when it comes to art though. When creators have a vision, they should be free to do whatever they want to express that. They had a different vision here, there doesn’t need to be necessities when the entire concept works around imagination, conception and execution of ideas. With the exception of Steve Burton who really liked Cloud, it’s possible none of the former actors even give a crap so we should stop assuming their feelings. Aerith’s new actress was so happy to get the role she cried for 3 hours when she was told she landed it.

    The new actors are fantastic and are being almost universally praised outside of very concentrated weeb areas or WAAAH CHANGE IS BAD types. After one game with these people, there’s going to be more voiced content from them than there has been from the older cast combined and I reckon most people won’t be able to imagine part 2 without them. Hopefully this knee jerk doesnt last too long because it’s very disrespectful to the new blood.

  • Dod

    I really hope they’ll let us choose between english and japanese voices, as FFXV did. I don’t see any mention of this information anywhere for now. That would be dope ! (I actually prefer Cloud’s japanese voice tbh)

  • Patrick Bateman

    they’re free to do what ever they want, art is subjective though and open to criticism weather or not you or anyone else agrees. I’m not assuming anything, Steve and George have been very open on twitter about being bummed they’re not in FFVII Remake, while also praising the new cast, George has even stated he’d love to come back anytime if Square changes their mind.

    At the end of the day there’s a side that cares about the new voices and a side that doesn’t. Only different is the side that cares about the voices isn’t attacking the other side with labels and taunts. It’s not the actors fault, no one is saying it is. It’s square who messed up and put them in this situation. Like i said from the start, new voices should’ve been planned from the start, not teased with the original cast and then changed last minute.

    We’re allowed to criticize, I aint talking about boycott or saying the game looks bad because it looks amazing, so don’t lump me up with others who are passing on the game because of the action based battle, episodic or Tifa’s chest size, i’ve been obsessed with this game since 1997. I’m just passionate, like i said, i’ll get over it.

  • Patrick Bateman

    After one game with these people, there’s going to be more voiced content from them than there has been from the older cast combined and I reckon most people won’t be able to imagine part 2 without them.

    ^ and congrats, so you DO know how we feel having Cloud and Sephiroth with the same voice for 17 years. That right there is how we’re all feeling so don’t pretend we’re any different.

  • Justice V

    I think in IGN, Gamespot or one of those groups asked about the dual audio, Kitase seemed surprised people would want it but also made it sound like it’d likely happen. I can kiiinda understand from his perspective, he’s gotta be like “we went through all this trouble to find American voice actors to re-record everything and now you just want what we already had? What was the point?” Haha.

  • Justice V

    Haley might have been the deciding factor, it was rough hearing him in KH3. I doubt it’s about money since they’re still using the old actors for other things and I’d assume some of these new actors costing more than the old ones. The rest I never really listened to in English but the new Cloud actor sounds miles better (as Cloud at least) from the small bits shown. But SE has been pretty consistent in hiring and/or directing their actors in English in really bad ways so no real big gain or loss here.

  • Justice V

    Personally I didn’t really like either of them. Newbern was passable in Kingdom Hearts, but the guy playing Cloud always kinda bugged, but especially in Crisis Core.
    They were nowhere near as bad as Lightning or the majority of XV’s cast though.

  • James Stine

    I think I might actually play with English voice actors for once. Usually, I go with Japanese voice actors, but I really like the new English cast so far.

  • Patrick Bateman

    George Newbern is really the only one I want back. I like Steve Burton but Cody sounds good. Aerith sounds good, Tifa sounds good, Sephiroth is the only one who’s off. Tyler just doesn’t have that menacing deep soothing voice and it’s throwing his character off for me. That’s fair though! everyone has their own person preferences. Sephiroth is my fav villain of any FF game and I gotta say from what I’ve seen I could care less about him in the Remake which really blows.

    Voices make or break characters, I wonder if people will feel the same when they hear Vincent speak for the first time? Finger’s crossed his new voice sounds good. Just bothers me their ” new direction” isn’t really a new direction at all..

  • empirefall

    they cannot even argue that the amount of dialogue is excessive either (an therefore require a more handsome payment) because regardless of whether the game is dubbed or not, a lot of the dialogue is only going to be in text anyhow (undubbed)

  • empirefall

    “you double crossin’!”

  • empirefall

    wow, if that is what they think then… just wow, I really could not care less whether the voice actor is a celebrity or not, I think I can speak for most gamers when I say that all we want is to have a voice actor that will reprise their role compellingly

    to be honest, I think I would even prefer that the voice actors be less well known, that way I can associate their voice only with their character, I find it jarring seeing and hearing the voice not only emitting from the voice actors face as I am watching them in a live action movie but same is true if I hear the same voice in a character from a different franchise, it takes me out of the ‘believibility’ of the experience if the thought ever crosses my mind (although, I can sympathize with the reality that voice actors need to earn a living just like the rest of us and therefore that could lead them to voice different characters in other properties, any job they can gain that will allow them to achieve that goal is a good thing)

  • empirefall

    they should just have kept the few voice actors that are the most iconic to their roles and shafted the rest (keep some of the original main cast at least)

    for those reading this comment you have to excuse me for essentially reiterating what has already been mentioned by other commenters, I just cannot think of anything more to add to this topic (I better just stop commenting)

  • empirefall

    I find it all just a bit jarring because I know those are not the voices from Advent Children, I will play it but the voices will take me out of the experience

    imagine if someone you know got substituted with a virtual clone of them, the only difference being that their voice does not sound right

    it is kind of like that for me, “I know you are phony!”

  • Some may be 30

  • It doesn’t matter what we say, what’s done is done. But when the reviews come out of the game I’m gonna speak on it if more the voices are a crappy as Sephiroth is.

  • I agree in full. To me Steve Burton WAS the only voice for Cloud. Same with Sephiroth and George Newbern.

  • Nothing is more telling than changing English voices but not JPNs

  • Justice V

    Yeah. I heard the Japanese voice before ever hearing the US one and the Japanese actor just sends shivers for Seph. So George while decent just never lived up haha. I like Tyler, but agree from the two bits we’ve heard so far he’s not quite there yet. Hopefully that’s just some of the first lines he’s recorded and he got to the menacing point as he worked on it.

  • Justice V

    I’m thinking probably play with both. If it’s swappable at any time maybe go back and forth as I play, or just in Japanese first then Eng on the replay.

  • Kchri

    If you didn’t already read it, several days ago along with the E3 announcement, they revealed that the game will have English, Japanese, French, and German voice over/dub options along with English, French, LatAm Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, German, and Spanish subtitle options. I’m assuming this applies to the Western releases.

  • Highwind

    Same – check out @TheReunionVII on twitter, you will see the battle for the VA’s there

  • Highwind

    Check out @TheReunionVII on twitter – that the fan group that is fighting for the OG VA’s on twitter.

  • Highwind

    Yeah they do and they can do it

  • empirefall

    I think it will be unlikely now that they have published that list of voice actors

  • empirefall

    no disrespect towards the new cast, if their voice acting is worthy its salt, then they can voice other characters

    https://t.co/psc5FihDoY