Yoshinori Kitase justifies the episodic release by saying it can expand multiple aspects of original.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake is, without doubt, one of 2020’s most anticipated titles. Just look at Famitsu’s most anticipated game lists from month to month to see the title maintains a healthy lead time and time again. What doesn’t get talked about a lot though, is that the game releasing on April 10th is actually Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 1. The remake is an episodic affair, and while Square Enix has not hidden that fact exactly, they haven’t put a lot of attention on it either (the boxart does not have anything to indicate this release as a ‘Part 1’ or ‘Episode 1,’ for instance). Now, though, it seems we have an official confirmation of what this first part will encompass, as well as why it was chosen.
In an interview on the official website, Producer Yoshinori Kitase was asked why the first part was set entirely in Midgar. The answer was simple enough. When it came time to finally do the much anticipated remake, there was two choices: expand on various areas in several games or cut things to try and fit everything into a single title. They chose the former, and with that, Midgar was the natural choice to expand in the first chapter.
“At the beginning of the project we had two directions we could go. The first was to make the project with the highest possible level of graphics, visual quality and detail, and not remove anything that fans wanted to see. Instead, it would expand upon the original game, to make it something even more immersive.
The other option was to include the entire scope of the original game in a single release. But in order to make that work as a modern game, we wouldn’t be able to go for the highest visual quality and we’d also have to cut back on areas and scenes from the original.
Essentially, to make a single release viable the resulting game would have ended up being a digest of the original story, and we didn’t think that fans would be pleased with that.
Ultimately, we decided the best option for the project was to go for the highest level possible, with an expanded story. Having more than one game in the project allowed us to focus on keeping everything people loved from the original, but go into greater detail and more story depth than before.
Midgar is iconic to FINAL FANTASY 7, so we had to start the game here.”
It’s logical since Midgar is designed as a strong Act 1 in the original PlayStation release and introduces you to most of the main characters. Square has yet to clarify how many parts will encompass Final Fantasy 7 Remake, so whether this thing will go for 3 entries or 7 is anyone’s guess at this point. All we can say for sure is the first part releases on April 10th for PS4, though physical copies could be restricted.