Square Enix's Business Division 1, which is currently working on the Final Fantasy VII Remake, has posted some staff recruitment messages to the official website (via SiliconEra) that seem to hint at a longer development process than we had originally projected. I don't think that anyone believed that we'd be playing the first part of the Final Fantasy VII Remake this year, but there is mention in these statements of "starting production" on the game and, well, that's frankly deflating.
Here are the comments from three members of key staff, who are urgently attempting to recruit more team members to get this game finished:
Yoshinori Kitase - Business Division 1 Executive: "For this project, we aim to surpass the original work in terms of quality by increasing the number of staff to strengthen the core company development as we head into the development progress phase.
"In addition to myself, we have director Nomura, scenario writer Nojima-san, and more from the original Final Fantasy VII staff lineup that continued working as staff on the production of past Final Fantasy titles, and they are now joining the team one after the other."
Tetsuya Nomura - Final Fantasy VII Remake Director: "Twenty years have gone by and the number of generations that aren't familiar with Final Fantasy VII is increasing, so we must remake the game using today's technology and systems in order to make it into a title that can last several more decades.
"Reproducing the world of Final Fantasy VII in high-definition requires an extraordinary amount of time and resources, so we'll need all the help we can get to shorten that.
"As those of you concerned with the industry may already know, the number of domestic staff is significantly lower compared to that of foreign high-definition developers. Therefore, in order to further strengthen the development of this title, we must urgently recruit as much staff as possible."
Naoki Hamaguchi - Final Fantasy VII Remake Development Leader: "From the pursuit of a new Final Fantasy game experience that can only be made through this remake, to the graphical challenges that come from the possibilities of evolving technologies—yes, we have everything that a creator needs to create in this here environment.
"I promise you that now is the best time for creators to display experience and abilities, for this title with high expectations from around the world. The emotions I felt from playing Final Fantasy VII twenty years ago, that's what I want to revive, as new emotions for the present generation. I'm very much looking forward to receiving applications from those of you who feel the same way."
One thing is for sure: while we can still hope to see a new trailer this year at E3, and I bet that we will, it doesn't sound like we should hold our breath for a holiday 2017 release for the first episode. Square Enix clearly needs more staff for this project. It's encouraging to know that development on this game is taking place on such a grand scale, but I'm loathe to think about how long we'll have to wait to actually play it. We'll keep you updated.