Back in 2005 Square Enix teased fans by showing off a tech demo for the PlayStation 3 that offered a glimpse of what an HD remake of Final Fantasy 7 might look like. It's something fans have been craving for decades, but Square Enix has always claimed development would cost too much for it to be commercially viable. One of the big reasons for this was because the pre-rendered backgrounds were not in HD and could not be easily touched up. That meant every background would have to be completely redone.
Many fans argued that after spending 10 years on Final Fantasy 15 (formerly Final Fantasy Versus 13), it couldn't possibly cost more than that to develop a remake of Final Fantasy 7. It didn't help matters when Square Enix announced late last year that a port of the PC version was coming to the PlayStation 4. That PlayStation Experience announcement was met with a huge negative reaction from fans across the world.
Don't Expect it Soon
We don't know when Square Enix decided to start work on an HD remake of Final Fantasy 7, but it wouldn't be all that surprising to find out it started production shortly after that PlayStation Experience announcement. Even if it's been in development for considerably longer than that, don't expect the game to release any time soon.
For one thing, no mention of a release date was made during the announcement. That all but confirms we won't see it until at least 2017. Add to that the fact that Final Fantasy 15 doesn't hit until 2016 and we still do not have a release date for Kingdom Hearts 3, both of which will assuredly release before the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. If that weren't enough, Tetsuya Nomura is the director on the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and he was recently pulled from work on Final Fantasy 15 so he could focus exclusively on Kingdom Hearts 3. It's unlikely he was pulled from Kingdom Hearts, which means he'll finish that game before he gives his full attention to Final Fantasy 7.
Timed PlayStation 4 Exclusive
While the announcement was made at the PlayStation E3 media briefing, the game is not completely exclusive to the PlayStation 4. It will release on the PS4 first, and while no other consoles have been confirmed at this time, you can rest assured it will eventually release on the Xbox One and possibly the PC as well. The real question is how long is the PS4 exclusivity period. It's likely to be anywhere from one month to six months, but for now just know that while you will be able to play it on the PS4 first, it will come to other platforms.
Yoshinori Kitase is the producer on Final Fantasy 7 Remake. He served as the director and scenario writer for the original release of the game and as a producer on Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children. He also supervised the PS3 tech demo from 2005 and has had a hand in just about everything dealing with Final Fantasy 7 and the various spin-offs.
Tetsuya Nomura is directing the remake and had a lot of jobs on the original. He handled character design, monster design, story elements and served as battle visual director when the game first released. He was also the director and character designer on Advent Children and handled character design on the Dirge of Cerberus spin-off games (PS2 and mobile). He's currently director of Kingdom Hearts 3 after stepping down from his directorial duties on Final Fantasy 15.
Kazushige Nojima is handling the scenario just like he did for the original (alongside KItase). He's done the same on many Final Fantasy games since then, most recently handling the story for Final Fantasy 15. Almost all of his credits at Square Enix stem from writing the scenarios for each game.
We don't yet know the full staff handling the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but the three key pieces are in place, and they all had experience on the original title. It's safe to say that Final Fantasy 7 Remake is in good hands, even if it may be awhile before any of these people can focus their attention exclusively on Cloud's HD adventures.
Now watch the Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer from E3 2015!