It’s been a wild ride for Tetsuya Nomura, Square Enix, and fans of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. Five long years have passed since the reveal of Kingdom Hearts III, and many gamers are getting impatient. A small delay for the title to 2019 sent a wave of anger and disappointment across the entire community. On the other side of things, the Final Fantasy VII remake was announced three years ago, with little to no word on the project since then. Most reports even claimed its development is in deep trouble.
But this isn’t the first time Square Enix and Tetsuya Nomura have been through this.
Final Fantasy XV was originally revealed as Final Fantasy Versus XIII back in 2006. This game also had a messy development and wouldn’t release until 10 years later under a new name and director.
So it seems Square Enix may have a problem with announcing their projects prematurely. Years of hype can eventually create unrealistic expectations among fans, and that could lead to an overall sense of disappointment once the final product is released. However, there’s one obstacle Square has to overcome when they announce new games: leaks.
We see things like this all the time, especially around E3. Many game announcements get leaked right before the company is about to drop the bomb. In this case, games that were only in the planning stages were in danger of getting leaked. So Square’s official strategy was to announce the game before someone else beat them to it. In an interview with Italian website Multiplayer, Tetsuya Nomura had a chance to explain this regarding
Final Fantasy VII‘s early announcement:
“I am well aware of the fact that we announced it too early, but even in the industry, word was beginning to spread that we were working on the game, so we just decided not to keep it more secret and officially reveal it.”
— Tetsuya Nomura
This explains why Square Enix has such a troubled past with games that seemingly take an eternity to develop. There’s also a good chance that the company only does this to generate hype around their games. Nobody would have been too surprised if
Kingdom Hearts III‘s announcement was leaked before E3 2013. Nomura had been pretty open before that the game’s development would begin as soon as Final Fantasy XV was completed.
Kingdom Hearts III now has a solid release date, and the likelihood of another delay is now smaller than ever. The fate of Final Fantasy VII‘s remake, however, is still mostly unknown. Hopefully we’ll get a better glimpse of the title in 2019.
On the other hand, there are plenty of companies that announce their projects too early as well. Nintendo delayed
Breath of the Wild several times after its initial announcement in 2014, Crackdown 3 has been shown at E3 for several years now, and Red Dead Redemption 2 has even seen several release changes. Are these companies announcing games to get the jump on leakers, or is something really interfering with development? Even in the case of Square Enix, is Nomura telling the truth, or is it just an excuse for the long development cycle? Let us know what you think in the comments below!