I don’t have anything against fan-made Final Fantasy projects, as they can turn out great. But leave Final Fantasy to the developers. If they can turn a mess in something decent (i.e. Final Fantasy XV) within a few years, they’ll know best how to work their IP.
As much as I love fanmade work, they don’t always have the business and development acumen to do. Of course, any of your fans are more than welcome to prove me wrong. But when Square Enix shuts down fanmade projects, they end up making something better.
Remember when fans tried to translate Final Fantasy XIII Type-0 into English? I’m sure they were doing a great job. Square Enix pulled the plug on them. SkyBladeCloud was understandably angry.
“Unfortunately I’m forced to remove my posts and pages related to the popular Final Fantasy Type-0 fan translation project. That’s right, [publisher Square Enix] thinks that threats and false accusations are the way to treat its biggest fans.”
Well, yeah. Of course, they do. Square Enix were planning to release an HD remaster of the game. They didn’t want the fan translation to cut into the sales. Sure, it didn’t look the best. But Square Enix would rather we purchase the new product, rather than a modded version of the older game. And I’d rather play the game with voice acting and higher render graphics. Plus, they were doing it for free. They were like a moderator for a popular forum. We aren’t paid for this, no matter how much time you spend. They did it for the love of the game, and that’s all that matters, right?
Other times, Square Enix hires companies to work on their games. Consider that companies often do slow down development, having developers waste time and resources. This is what happened to Square Enix when they hired Grin for Final Fantasy XII: Fortress. If you remember what happened to Square Enix after hiring a smaller company:
Grin began preproduction work on a Final Fantasy spin-off game, Fortress, in the second half of 2008 when Square Enix outsourced it to the Swedish developer. The development team, based in Stockholm, began creating concept art, 3D models and a game engine, thinking of Fortress as a “game with an epic scale both in story and production values”. In addition to original characters and locations, concept art for the game depicted Ashe and a Judge character from Final Fantasy XII, and chocobos and other recurring creatures of the series. The score was also being produced. However, after six months of development, Square Enix reclaimed the project without paying Grin, due to concerns over the quality of the work. Grin co-founders Ulf and Bo Andersson claimed that “Square Enix had already made up its mind that Fortress wasn’t a project it wanted anymore”. Square Enix’s withdrawal left the Swedish developer in financial difficulty and with no other ongoing game project.
Stockholm, Sweden? More like Stockholm Syndrome. Square Enix scrapped the development. Can they salvage the IP? Will they reuse these assets when they really need it for a quick sale. Fortress looked cool, even though it didn’t feel like a Final Fantasy (no outlandish designs most likely).
Now let’s look at the remake. Square Enix originally outsourced to CyberConnect2 for the assets. We had a trailer for 2015 E3, and gameplay footage. Tetsuya Nomura fought to get a preview, but Square Enix wisely denied. The work was so poor, Square Enix had to move all of their development in-house. But we don’t know how bad it was, yet we have ideas. Especially from people who worked in the industry.
Dan_Tsukaka wrote about CyberConnect2 on Reddit:
I’ll explain it this way. When has a company taking work away from another company ever been a positive sign of things? I know CyberConnects work was unusable, I’ve worked with them before, i know their level.
And i know they outsourced to hell and back in order to get things to the point we saw them publicly, and it still wasn’t enough to save them.
So another game delayed, again, because Square Enix outsourced to a smaller company. Only now, they can’t afford to cancel this title. They have to make this the best title of all time. Does this mean Remake will be perfect? No, but at least now the development will be faster.
It’s karma. It’s fate. しょうがない