Final Fantasy VII is a rather large game. Split onto 3 discs on the PS1, it was rather large affair even at the time. Now it looks like the remake will be similarly gargantuan in scope, requiring a series of episodic installments to complete. In an interview with Famitsu, translated by Square Enix, Yoshinori Kitase explained why Final Fantasy VII will be episodic:
“One of the main reasons why we haven’t done a remake until now is because it’s a massive undertaking to reconstruct Final Fantasy 7 from the ground up with the current technology,” he said.
“To a great extent, we just couldn’t take the plunge. Producing a proper HD remake of Final Fantasy 7 that maintains the same feeling of density of the original results in a volume of content that couldn’t possibly fit into one installment”
Readers may recall that, in the past, Final Fantasy VII designer and zipper advocate Tetsuya Nomura had insisted that a remake would have to make severe concessions to achieve the same level of detail as the original game, but the episodic system will allow for players to get the content they want in the same depth as the original:
“If we were to try to fit everything into one installment, we would have to cut various parts and create a condensed version,” he said. “But there would be no point in doing that.”
“For instance, players will be able to explore many different areas of Midgar in this game that they couldn’t access in the original–if we’re remaking this world, we want to add in areas like this and depict them with real detail.”
Perhaps more interesting is Square Enix’s announcement that the Final Fantasy VII multi-part series would offer “its own unique experience” for each of the games. It’s unclear what that means, as it could just be marketing speak for each game having different story and themes. Others have suggested that it could mean differences in gameplay. Wild speculation abounds at the possibilities. Square Enix saw great success in the episodic model with Life is Strange, and Resident Evil: Revelations 2 and the Telltale game format have all forged a path for episodic games.