Final Fantasy 8 Remastered: Why Did It Take So Long?

By | August 13, 2019


Recently Square Enix has put a lot of effort
into releasing its major Final Fantasy titles on different platforms and opening them up
to a wider audience. In late 2018, the company delighted fans by
announcing that it was releasing a whole host of games – including Final Fantasy VII, IX,
X, X-2 and XII – on the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. However, one game was mysteriously conspicuous
by its absence – that game being Final Fantasy VIII. For years there had been rumours and memes
flying around claiming that Square Enix didn’t much care for Final Fantasy 8. While other Final Fantasy games were getting
ports and re-releases left right and centre, it seemed like FF8 had been neglected for
some unknown reason, much to the annoyance of its incredibly passionate fanbase. It was even suggested that Final Fantasy 8’s
source code had been misplaced or lost, which is a pretty incredible thought. To think that a game of that size, which had
taken years to create, could just be deleted or archived incorrectly. So when Square Enix made its 2018 announcement,
this rumour seemed to have been all but confirmed by the gaping Final Fantasy 8-shaped hole. Despite this however, by the time June came
around and E3 2019 was just around the corner, there was a sense of hope and optimism in
the air that maybe all wasn’t lost for Final Fantasy VIII. After all, Square Enix appeared to be in a
charitable mood, having just released the first new Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer in
four years. Perhaps the reason why the company had not
announced FF8’s re-release along with the other games was because it had something else
in mind – a Final Fantasy 8 Remake! Well, in some ways this turned out to be partially
true. While we didn’t get an announcement for a
full Final Fantasy 8 Remake, we did get what I would say is the second best thing – news
of a Final Fantasy 8 Remaster! After all those years of waiting and 20 years
after the game’s original release, Final Fantasy 8 was being brought in from the cold, much
to the delight of the game’s diehard fans (reaction videos). However, that begged that question – why the
heck had it taken so long to reach that point?! Luckily director Yoshinori Kitase provided
some answers to this question in an interview with Famitsu, translated by Siliconera. When questioned about the Final Fantasy 8
project, he said: “At first the plan was to release it on current generation hardware
with more or less the same graphics”, but this changed when the team “decided that it
was necessary to improve on character quality.” He went on to say that “out of nowhere we
decided to work on refining the characters. For that reason we found ourselves in a situation
that needed a major schedule change”. He finished by saying that “the troubles were
there, but in the end it was the right call.” That last point is the one I find most interesting,
and which I wish he’d elaborated on. What troubles was Kitase referring to exactly? Was this alluding to the rumours that had
been flying around about problems with Final Fantasy 8’s source code? It’s also interesting that the idea to work
on Final Fantasy 8 Remastered, as opposed to just doing a direct port, apparently came
“out of nowhere”. Surely a games development company of Square
Enix’s stature and experience would plan out projects of this scale long in advance? Maybe it’s just the case that, when it came
to it, the likes of Kitase and Nomura weren’t happy to release a 20 year old and much-loved
game without giving it the kind of care and attention that other Final Fantasy games had
received. Especially when you consider the criticism
levelled at previous Final Fantasy 8 ports for the PC, and the decision to swap the amazing
original soundtrack for the MIDI version instead – a mistake which thankfully won’t be repeated
with Final Fantasy 8 Remastered. There does seem to be some truth to the reports
that Square Enix have had problems when it comes to archiving their older games, as stated
by Yosuke Matsuda himself, the company’s CEO and president. In an interview with Gamer Informer, Matsuda
said: “I’m embarrassed to admit it, but in some cases, we don’t know where the code is
anymore. It’s very hard to find them sometimes, because
back in the day you just made them and put them out there and you were done – you didn’t
think of how you were going to sell them down the road. Sometimes customers ask, ‘Why haven’t you
released that [game] yet?’ And the truth of the matter is it’s because
we don’t know where it has gone.” Interestingly however, there is of course
a difference between something merely being misplaced, and being completely deleted. Is it the case that Final Fantasy 8’s source
code simply went missing for some time, before being recovered? We’ll probably never know for certain in the
case of individual games. But at least, when it comes to Final Fantasy
8 Remastered, the game can finally get the re-release it deserves. I’d love to hear what you think about this. Do you have a theory about why we’ve had to
wait all this time for Final Fantasy VIII to get a re-release? And are you excited to play Final Fantasy
8 Remastered? Drop your comments below! Before I wrap this video up, I wanted to let
you know about a Discord server that a few of us Final Fantasy channels have set up to
discuss everything related to the series. I’ll leave the link in the description,
so if you’re interested in joining check it out below. If you enjoyed this video then please go ahead
and hit the like button, subscribe and hit the notification bell too. Anyway Final Fantasy Gamers, until next time,
thanks for watching! Final Fantasy VIII Remastered Final Fantasy 8 Remastered FF8 Remastered FFVII Remastered

10 thoughts on “Final Fantasy 8 Remastered: Why Did It Take So Long?

  1. Final Fantasy Gamer Post author

    Do you have a theory about why we've had to wait all this time for Final Fantasy VIII to get a re-release? And are you excited to play Final Fantasy 8 Remastered? Drop your comments below!

    If you enjoyed this video then please go ahead and hit the like button, subscribe and hit the notification bell too. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Tom Williams Productions Post author

    Can we have a release date now Please Square i need this

    Reply
  3. Kevin Sullivan Post author

    I am excited that this missing gem is finally getting recognized and better yet remastered. Although, I do wish this would get the re-make treatment FF7 is getting because I think there is so much lore potential to be dived into, and a much needed battle system upgrade lol. With them adding voice acting (has there been any real confirmation to this being true?) I think that this will take the game to a different level.

    Reply
  4. SOLDIER_1st_Class Post author

    The whole source code thing still seems weird to me. They were able to do PC ports before now, so why not consoles too as they did with VII, IX, X etc? Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for the remaster – I just don't see why we've had to wait 20 years to see this game get some kind of proper attention from Square.

    Reply
  5. CactuarRick Post author

    I just hope it gets a physical release when it comes out – I want to add it to my collection (sitting pretty next to the original)!

    Reply
  6. Kiejon Post author

    FF8 was my fav. When i was a kid, i can remember, long hours of playing triple triad to get Lionheart on disc 1 or on my first play-through, letting Rinoa float off into space like 5 times cause i couldn't centre it correctly lol. but i loved this game and so happy, it is getting the love, and remaster it deserves.

    Reply
  7. Kevin Depuy Post author

    What goes umentioned is that FFIX got a complete character model rework years ago, just like FFVIII is finally getting now in 2019. The real question is why did FFIX get a character model upgrade before they decided to do that with FFVIII?

    Reply
  8. Patrick Dilla Post author

    It would only compete with their main offering FF7 at that time and they needed to extract first all the milk they can get with ff7 spin-offs like Crisis Core, movie, mobile, etc. Now that people's interest in FF7 is declining and the 90's nostalgia train is at full speed, they need to milk the next most famous title from the ps1 era, ff8.

    Reply
  9. Ns Pe Post author

    I know there are lots of arguments about which is better of FF7 and FF8, but to me, they are both great. I've always loved 8, even though I know many people don't. I'm just glad to be able to play this game in a new way. Worth the wait.

    Reply
  10. ScottM1 Post author

    Squall looks whack. Prefer the PC/PS1 models. Porting the PC version would have been good enough. Bitter sweet.

    Reply

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