So… it looks like that fans will have to (possibly) wait another three years before either the Final Fantasy VII Remake or Kingdom Hearts III will hit store shelves. In a slide that was shown during the Square Enix 2017 Fiscal Year Briefing presided over by Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda and CFO Kazuharu Watanabe, it shows that there are no clear release or even announce dates for either the FFVII Remake or KHIII. Even though both games, along with the previously unveiled Square Enix/Marvel IP, fell under the category labeled “2018/3 and beyond”, a later note provided by Mr. Matsuda clarified that those titles could take 3 years or so to bring out to the market as it was stated that they are “revisiting our pipeline with the objective of reaching our targets by around FY2020/3”. I don’t need to further expand how frustrating and sad this news is to a lot of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts fans.
Even with some news and leaks being made with regards to both games having been released over the past year, this clearly shows that Square Enix is so far in development with these games that any hopes of seeing them in the near future have been all but dashed. I am even beginning to wonder if either of these two games will be released during the current generation of consoles or are they going to see releases once Sony and Microsoft unveil their next line of consoles. Hopefully that isn’t the case but three years is a long time in terms of video game technology and development.
Astute fans may have seen this circumstance on the horizon as 2017 progresses as there have been several announcements made by Square Enix hinting that development for these games was behind the expectations of many fans, especially in regards to the FFVII Remake. Earlier this year, in February, it was announced via a NicheGamer article that the voice acting recordings for the game were almost near completion but that the recordings were for only the first volume of a potentially multi-part series, as indicated in a previous Famitsu article. In an earlier January 2017 NicheGamer interview with FFVII Remake & KHIII director Tetsuya Nomura, he stated that even though production was underway with regards to the title there was still an undisclosed amount of time required before the development team felt confident enough to put out a viable working demonstration of both games.
However, I think people began to see the writing on the wall with a recent announcement on the Square Enix website, there was a recruitment call by Square Enix First Business Division executive Kitase Yoshinori, FFVII Remake development leader Naoki Hamaguchi, and director Tetsuya Nomura for several key positions to work on the title that included planners, designers and programmers. With these kinds of key positions still needed to be filled by the FFVII Remake development team, it was more than evident that any kind of release of the game in the near future was little more than a fan’s dream.
This could also be seen as potentially good news as it may be that the production teams behind the FFVII Remake and KHIII games are doing their best and diligent work behind the scenes to make the best games possible for fans and are not trying to such the titles out onto the market, but I think that this thought will do little assuage the feelings of those hurt by these latest developments.