Square Enix has quietly revealed that the development focus of Final Fantasy VII Remake has changed: the game will now be primarily made internally at Square Enix.
Previously development was underway in cooperation with CyberConnect2, another Japanese studio famous for Naruto, Bleach and .hack games, plus the FF7 mobile spin-off G-Bike. Square Enix was overseeing the project, but we understand that CC2 was the main, primary heavy lifting partner for development.
That's all changed now, as revealed by Mobius Final Fantasy project lead Haoki Hamaguchi in a Mobius FF live stream.
"The information is already available online, but I’ve taken charge on the development side for Final Fantasy VII Remake," Hamaguchi explained, as featured on Japanese fansite FF Reunion. "As for the whole story... it’s a sensitive topic, but until now, development was moving forward with external cooperation, but the company has decided to shift to an internal setup, including mass production and quality, because we want to control everything, including quality, on a stable schedule."
He added that he won't be leaving the production of Mobius Final Fantasy. Aside from Mobius, Hamaguchi's credentials include work as the main programmer on Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
The nature of this announcement makes it appear that Hamaguchi will be working under Tetsuya Nomura, who'll remain director alongside Yoshinori Kitase producing.
This is all a bit inside-baseball, but it's interesting news nevertheless. When CyberConnect2 were announced as a partner on FF7 Remake it made a lot of sense: after the struggle of the development of FF13, 14 and 15, CC2 made for an obvious partner: some RPG pedigree, and a studio well versed in putting out licensed games on strict times and budgets.
This news raises the question of if development will now begin to resemble a traditional FF game with the painful timelines one associates with that (we're already over two years in now) - and also the question of how CC2's work failed to meet the standards Square Enix wanted for the game.