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Square Enix To Concentrate On Remaking Their Back Catalog 171

An anonymous reader writes: You may remember that at E3, the major announcement from Square Enix and Sony wasn't a new game, but rather that Square Enix would be remaking Final Fantasy VII in HD and releasing it for PS4 first. Square Enix's recent annual report indicates that they intend to make more HD remakes of old titles. Like many Japanese developers, they indicate in the report that they also intend to focus more on mobile platforms, including porting more of their back catalog to mobile devices. With the impending release of Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix knows a thing or two about rehashing old content, but Square Enix also owns the Dragon Quest, Deus Ex, and Tomb Raider series, giving them a fairly large library to give the HD treatment to.
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Square Enix To Concentrate On Remaking Their Back Catalog

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  • And wish them well in confusing lots of teen boys and girls.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by operagost ( 62405 )
      I'm pretty sure your post contains a microagression of some kind, but I'll need to consult my local university first.
  • So ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @01:19PM (#50782283) Homepage

    Essentially they've run out of ideas and need to get on with rehashing everything?

    And here I though this might be limited to Hollywood, with their endless reboots because they lack anyone who can up with something new.

    Because, really, we don't need to see the Spider Man origin story again.

    • Square Enix has managed to stay around long enough to cash in on their old titles again.... good for them.

      What was old is now new.

      If you don't like it, don't buy it.

      I would be curious to hear what you think of all the Star Wars re-packages, re-makes, re-releases, etc.

      • What was old is now new.

        My Elite clone stopped working sound-wise last week. Sob. Probably some fucked-up update.

        If you don't like it, don't buy it.

        Actually, this may be the first thing I've seen that might make getting an HD TV worth the effort.

    • Not Ideas; Trust (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2015 @01:56PM (#50782605)

      Essentially they've run out of ideas

      It's not ideas video game companies have run out of. It's consumer trust.

      Gamers are increasingly reluctant to shell out full price for even "AAA" software these days. We're now into, by my personal reckoning at least, at least 7 years of declining standards and/or patchy product quality from even the most trusted studios. 15 years ago Square released FFX which, despite its flaws, was leagues above anything they've done recently, in terms of value, design, and innovation. So, when faced with a choice of the newer dus, or the proven older titles, I think a lot of gamers are simply choosing to go with the classics they know are good, verses the new titles which are increasingly becoming a crap shoot.

      It's the same for practically every major studio, declining game quality across the board. Konami with the MGS series, Ubisoft with Assassin's creed, EA with Battlefront, Bethesda with ES, ID with Doom 3 and Rage, EA with Mass Effect 3, the list goes on. Valve have basically stopped making games. Recent years have seen an increasing rate of high profile, high priced duds being released by top studios and gamers as consumers have become increasingly skeptical and wary of new and even existing IPs.

      We're now seeing AAA games release with zero-day patches on consoles -- consoles. In 2006 on 6th gen you couldn't patch the game, but now consumers are routinely expected to not only pay for but in fact pre-order what may well be a public late beta. There are only so many times people can get burned before they become permanently skeptical and consequently over-cautious with their money, and I think the game industry past that point several years ago. Square is simply reaping the consequences of it's failure to maintain its brand reputation for quality and value over the last 10 years. So is the entire industry.

      • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

        Don't forget that we all know the game we buy will be incomplete and there'll be $300 of DLC to buy afterwards, which will be released in a 'Game Of The Year' pack after twelve months, and we'll be able to buy that in a Steam sale for $5 the Christmas after next.

        And it will probably be consolized, on-the-rails, checkpoint-save-only crap anyway.

        I have precisely zero incentive to buy most modern games at release now. Few are worth more than that $5 in entertainment value.

        • Yeah, wait for the GOTY/greatest hits edition.. That way, all of your console games are $20 or under.

    • I don't think that Hollywood (or at least, people creating stories for them) have run out of ideas; I think that they would rather get a fairly stable return on investment for simply rehashing existing stories that people already know and care about than risk an unknown return (or no return) on a new story that is unfamiliar to the public. If they lack imagination, it's at the executive and marketing levels. They've become too reliant on expensive actors and directors to draw crowds (driving up the cost of
    • Re:So ... (Score:5, Funny)

      by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @02:16PM (#50782817)

      I hear they're changing their motto:

      Square Enix: We're Not Even Trying Anymore

    • Well, their core stuff is just dumb JRPG. Their acquired stuff I think they're screwing up. Tomb Raider reboot bears no resemblance to the original, is full of idiotic quick time events, etc. Console-itis galore.

      • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

        However, the UI of the Tomb Raider reboots is much less annoying than the original 'press jump button at precisely the right pixel or fall and have to start over again' games. Agreed about the idiotic 'Press button or die' quick time events, though.

        • I only got past the intro in new Tomb Raider. I felt the whole thing was insulting my intelligence. Every few feet there'd be a bright icon telling me what to do. No puzzles need solving. Jerk mouse back and forth quickly to break free, etc. It's the sort of crap you expect on consoles when you have limited input options or the game is designed for pre-teens.

          When the Thief reboot was first previewed from Eidos, the fan base erupted in anger over quick time events and other "cinematic" fluff. To their

        • However, the UI of the Tomb Raider reboots is much less annoying than the original 'press jump button at precisely the right pixel or fall and have to start over again' games.

          Yes, but they were BIG pixels!

    • Because, really, we don't need to see the Spider Man origin story again.

      Maybe one of these days, some schmuck director will say, "What if Ben Parker doesn't die?" and subsequently die at the hands of an angry geek mob.

    • Either that or they realized that, like the AC below me in this thread said, whoever they lost after FFX / FFX-2 was vital to the series. From FFXII onward the stories are weaker, and the battle systems and / or gameplay are absolute shit . In a series as long running as Final Fantasy it is practically always suicide to make huge deviations like Square/Enix did; you will almost NEVER attract new gamers into the series that late, and you will lose the hardcore fan following. The chance that you actually imp

    • Well, no. A game, like a movie, is an expensive risk. Going with a proven moneymaker is pretty much why we see sequels and reboots coming out of Hollywood more than we see original work. Ditto games -- the boundary between movie making and game making is getting pretty porous, with game tie-ins for movies and movies based on popular games all too common. All businesses try to reduce and/or mitigate risk, and Squeenix is no exception.
  • Dragon Warrior IV was tied for best NES RPG ever with Final Fantasy III. I would love to see both remade in HD.

  • This doesn't seem like a bad idea. The writing from Square really started to go downhill towards the end of the PlayStation era any the majority of roles in their role playing games were those of whinny teens with an absurd sense of fashion. Perhaps in remaking the older games they'll learn something about storytelling and make new games where I'm not cheering for the villain because of my disdain for the protagonists.
  • As I recall, Square Enix released a complete collection of Final Fantasy, but only with Japanese language. I'd love to see the same thing translated into English.

  • I loved the old Dragon Warrior games on NES. However, when they remade Dragon Quest III they changed all the old english dialog to modern english. Everything also got all cutesy and I sort of remember a new integrated collectible item deal. All that crap they added on just annoyed me and took away from the core experience of the game. I'd love to play more remakes but stay true to the originals!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Make a real sequel to Chrono Trigger. I didn't get enough time travel yesterday.

    • Make something where you actually get to go about life in your home town for a long time if you never bother to set out on the adventure. Run an orchard, catch fish and sell them at market, buy clothes, decorate your home, and more. Not only could a Harvest Moon-type simulation side quest provide extra content for the early game and set up relationships that will become important later on, but the investment by players in a village that gets destroyed could rival the <spoiler>murder of Aeris Gainsboro

  • Problem (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ( 3412475 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @01:36PM (#50782425)

    Or better, a list of problems:

    1. the population that they are targeting with nostalgic remakes is almost entirely through "the point of no more gaming" - that moment you no longer buy 1/5 the games you did because adulthood catches up

    2. they don't really have that many games that can be salvaged in an economically efficient way. FF7 remake should be proof of that when the production costs come out - you can't reuse the most expensive stuff, which is basically source code, graphical assets and marketing initiatives

    3. remakes might be easier to digest for critics (it's hard to see a game remake getting bad rep), but at the same time, the moment they get one instance of generalized REALLY BAD criticism on a remake (especially the first ones), every project you have on the pipeline with bucks spent is gonna suffer the consequences. This doesn't happen with a single very bad game.

    4. I understand this being a financial decision by a gaming company , but this encumbers human development indirectly - newcomers purchasing these games are gonna face cultural clash with them, since they weren't made for this point of time, especially their stories, while their genres, even despite a rework, will be out of place (time*)

    In any case, I hope for the best. I'm a big fan of anything Squeenix. But I would rather they pay the big bucks, purchase Mistwalker, and bring back old timer Sakaguchi, Uematsu et al, and just play on with the sure win match plan

    • Granted, converting a PS2 game to a PS3 game was a significantly easier task since they were able to re-render all the environments and models for 1080P and recycle those, but they went above and beyond and recreated all the menus too. X was a beautiful game and it showed in the remake.

      I also enjoyed the release of FFIII and FFIV on the DS. If they give the same care and attention to the other games they wish to remake, they'll do really well.
    • Or better, a list of problems:

      1. the population that they are targeting with nostalgic remakes is almost entirely through "the point of no more gaming" - that moment you no longer buy 1/5 the games you did because adulthood catches up

      Now that I'm an Adult(tm) and have a fair amount of disposable income, I actually buy more games now than I did when I was younger, even though I barely have time to play them like I once did. My backlog is enormous, but I like to think that I'm saving them to play after I've retired. Plus, it's nice to throw some money at developers I like in the hopes that they continue making things.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        The last game that I paid attention to was Fallout 2 and it was awesome. I then tried Fallout Tactics. I've not played games since.

        • Then you should try the Uncharted games, God of War games, and though I haven't played it yet, Last of Us sounds great (I'll eventually get it).

    • by vix86 ( 592763 )

      but this encumbers human development indirectly - newcomers purchasing these games are gonna face cultural clash with them, since they weren't made for this point of time, especially their stories, while their genres, even despite a rework, will be out of place (time*)

      It has already been stated by Square that the FF7 HD remake is going to undergo changes to the story. I expect the same thing to happen with many of their other games as well. Compared to older games though on the (S)NES, FF7's story is less in need of modernizing.

  • Remake the Final Fantasy movie using today's animation technology. While the version looked stunning back in 2001, it looks dated and overdue for a remake. []

    • I dunno... I think the major problems with The Spirits Within were more to do with the cliche, dull, and emotionally flat storyline, not "the CGI wasn't good enough".

      I mean sure a modern remake would probably reduce the Uncanny Valley effect it had going, but that's really not why the movie tanked.

  • Square Enix also owns... Tomb Raider

    Anyone here ever enable hardware acceleration on Tomb Raider for DOS? (I had a patch for the Matrox Mystique). When you stepped from software-rendered 320x240 to 640x480 (or 800x600 if you were able to run 3Dfx Glide), the way Lara Croft's ass twitched as she walked... *sigh*

    • it was texture deformation :P. Seriously though, there are glide emulators out that that'll run Tomb Raider 1 in hardware accel mode. Sadly the Gog doesn't use the best of the bunch (nGlide) so if you want that you'll have to hack it in yourself.
  • there's an entire generation of gamers who haven't played these games. They've got a ton of design work already done and there's a hardcore fan base that'll generate buzz (good or bad, it's still buzz). This is what happens when modern games get too expensive to make. Pixel Shaders are a bitch to program and that's how you do HD and not have it look awful.

    I did get a chuckle out of EA's boss calling out Ubisoft for all their HD remakes though. EA, the company that cranked out the same damn Madden/Fifa/NB
    • there's an entire generation of gamers who haven't played these games

      And I don't think they'll have the patience for old school JRPGs, either. Nowadays, the grindy, repetitive, random battles are just called "bad design."

    • >Konami

      People get this wrong. Konami is a rather large corporation. They're getting out of gaming because their other business are safer and more profitable: real estate, vacation resorts, fitness clubs, and so on.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Then why can't Konami just sell its video game division to Capcom or someone like that? At least then we won't have a "dog in the manger" situation of a video game publisher that owns copyrights but refuses to exploit them the way the founders intended.

  • Enough already (Score:4, Interesting)

    by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @02:07PM (#50782717)
    What we really need is Einhänder 2 on modern consoles.
  • Honestly - I've played a lot of good games "back in the day", and skipped over just as many that were good back then but I just never got around to playing (and whose interfaces I just can't play nowadays). I'm happy with remakes of those games, as long as they're true remakes like what Square is doing (I'm less interested and the "HD Remix" concept - I want completely new graphics not just uprezed stuff).

    I personally have zero interest in "mobile gaming". I can understand that as a company they have to "

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      The problem is that most 'remakes' aren't content to just update the graphics and keep the gameplay, but feel they must 'update' the gameplay, too.

      Like the recent Carmageddon remake that added new graphics, but removed most of the fun. I can drive around minding my own business, get hit once by another car, and SPLAT. I'm smashed into pieces all over the ground. That never happened in the original... even a police van wouldn't destroy me in one hit.

    • but I personally have little interest in games on a ~5 inch screen whose controls usually are just variations on "Turn device or touch the screen".

      Do you really need tactile controls for menu- and turn-based combat?

      • Need it from a functional standpoint? No, but games are entertainment, not a task to to simply accomplish like sending an email or text. To make it an actual enjoyable experience, yes I need tactile controls.

      • "Need" is a pretty poor metric when we're talking about a good player experience.

        I mean have you played Final Fantasy I on iOS vs the original Nintendo version? There's no comparison at all in terms of ease of play. Sure you can "get by" with the touchscreen version but actual buttons provided vaster superior gameplay, no contest.

  • . . . to seeing Laura Croft's boobs jiggle in HD.

    • Unfortunately they have been getting smaller over time. They won't be stressing any physics simulation systems, that's for sure.
  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @02:42PM (#50782999)
    If their Final Fantasy 7 "remake" is anything to go by, they'll be making liberal changes to the entire thing anyway. Final Fantasy 7 is getting action-focused combat instead of its excellent active time turn based system. It will be less of a strategic affair as a result. Very different from what veterans of the franchise are expecting, buy perhaps we're not the target audience. Maybe these changes are being made to appeal to a new generation of gamers. Be warned and temper expectations.
    • by Faust6 ( 4161211 )
      Well it begs the question, what is the target audience? Millennials? I'd have thought anyone so ga-ga about the old series has already played them to death. There must a vocal group saying "we haven't played these, but we'd kind of like to, but we want a graphical overhaul, but the games are already great, but GRAPHICS".
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I hope they don't screw with it too much. The ATB system is awesome. Only a couple of things to change:

      1. Ability to skip or fast-forward summons - so when you cast Quad-Knights-of-the-Round, then the next character Mimics it, you fly to America and back, and it's alomost done (12 hours from New Zealand, one way)

      2. Less grinding to AP to level up Materia, although some would say that add some charm to the game :)

      Square-Enix, I'll give you that advice for free.

      • so when you cast Quad-Knights-of-the-Round, then the next character Mimics it, you fly to America and back, and it's alomost done

        Quadra Magic doesn't work with KOTR, at best you can do is W-Summon it. The most powerful Summon that DOES work with Quadra Magic is the final Bahamut, and you really need 3 Mimic materia because W-Summoning KOTR is 500MP. Sure, you could always do an MP-Absorb, but that would require mastering ANOTHER KOTR, and eating up two more Materia slots.

        Less grinding to AP to level up Materia,

        Don't remind me, Movers, Pots, and Tonberries in the Final dungeon, or the forest outside of Mideel, that's easier but slower, or the Crashed Gelnika, which is ann

  • They have been redoing their back catalog since forever! How many remake of FFIV are out there already?
  • keeps Phoenix Down in her purse this time.

  • I'm surprised SE see so much value in regurgitating old, but already great, content. The required investment is still high, and there's no guarantee they will sell as well as a new entry. But I guess SE knows something I don't. The ones who've been clamoring for a FF7 remake are the most naive dolts. We're not "just" getting FF7 with "updated" graphics. We're getting full 3d motion, a new action-rpg battle system, and likely INCESSANT voice over and cut-scenes in keeping with the latest trends. Pacing comp
    • I was shocked that FF7 didn't have voice acting to begin with.

      My first JRPGs were Lunar 1 and 2 on the Sega CD, so I thought voice acting and full-animated-with-speech cutscenes were something JRPGs just *had*.

      At least if they were on CD instead of cartridge.

  • I'd rather have a modern remake of the Soul Blazer series. (Yeah, I know it was actually developed by Quintet.)

  • by Lendrick ( 314723 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @03:30PM (#50783449) Homepage Journal

    There was a time, back in the SNES and PSX era, that Squaresoft could do no wrong. That time has passed. Their new games are a mess, and they've realized that the only way they're going to stay in business is to remake their old ones. That being said, they're fixing to fuck up FF7 the same way they've fucked up their more recent offerings.

    I think part of the problem may be that Squeenix doesn't have the slightest fucking clue about the American market. As far as I can tell, they're trying to go for the action gamer market and sell a gazillion copies the way the big third person action franchises do, but by and large, those people aren't really the ones who are interested in JRPGs. And in the process of *trying* to appeal to that market, they alienate their core audience (most of which has walked away by this point).

    Now, it's entirely possible that the JRPG core audience just isn't big enough to support the development of AAA titles, but I judging by their surprise at how well Bravely Default did in the states, I have a feeling they're vastly underestimating how many people would be interested in a more classic JRPG feel.

    • I have to give them some credit on Tomb Raider. The newer Tomb Raider was an absolutely fantastic game, and I wish the next one wasn't a XBox exclusive as i'd like to play it on the PC.

      I don't mind franchise reboots or remakes, as long as its done in a tactful and entertaining way. One of the biggest and best franchises in video game history - the Zelda series - is littered with remakes. Its just that they were done in a way that makes a new game out of the same story.

  • I'm just going to go ahead and say it: The entire Final Fantasy saga just blows.

    • [joke] You are DEAD to me[/joke]

      And you don't get any of my Phoenix Downs, and no Final Attack-Revive combo for you!

      Overall X is the best of the series, though I've got plenty of nostalgia for VII. VIII I didn't care for, except for the Triple Triad card game VI is good if you take in account the limitations of the SNES and Nintendo's rules. IX is all right in it's Crystals and Airships homage to the past sort of way even if it's strategy guide sucks donkey balls.

      XII is MMO-ish, much different feel, and I

      • lightning dodging and the chocobo race

        The mind reels.

        Could it be because Final Fantasy was mainly a console-centric series and I've always been a PC gamer? I see that there are a bunch of FF games on Steam. Maybe I'll take another shot. No promises, though.

        • Could it be because Final Fantasy was mainly a console-centric series and I've always been a PC gamer?

          Yeah. The inverse is that us console gamers never got ports of those classic isometric 80's/90s PC RPG's like Wasteland, Baldur's Gate, Planescape, or the original Fallout. I'm glad the PS4 is getting Wasteland 2, Divinity: Original Sin, and Sword Coast Legends

          I see that there are a bunch of FF games on Steam. Maybe I'll take another shot. No promises, though.

          Start with VII. Sadly they don't have VI or X up there. I'd actually recommend Chrono Trigger over the Final Fantasies, but it's not on Steam. And what I wouldn't give for a re-master of Secret Of Mana with network play and a proper translation.

  • It took a decade for Deus Ex to get right. DE:HR was game of the year for a reason. It is in HD, a golden-hued, blade-runner-invoking, ridley-scott homaging, glorious meld of FPS and RPG. Don't try to gild this lily, guys. Fuck with FF if you must, but not this franchise, please.
    • But could it get any worse than a Deus Ex-themed eroge subtitled Pronounced Day of Sex?

      • I'm afraid it could. I just played "Thief", and was horribly disappointed at the sequel to the best stealth RPG games I've ever seen. Any game that gives you climbing puzzles, rope arrows, and _no way to use the rope arrows for the climbing puzzles_ is so scripted it's simply broken.

  • Because look how successful Hollywood has been rehashing old crap, right?

    They too avoid new projects out of an abject fear of failure, it's not like theater revenues are plummeting or anything.

  • CEO: So, guys. We've like totally run out of new ideas, right?

    [they mumble and fidget nervously]

    VP of Marketing: Hey, why don't we just do the same old shit ...

    [they mumble and fidget nervously again] ... only BIGGER!

    [they start to smile]

    VP of product development: Yeah, and with newer hardware how about MORE EFFECTS!

    All: Brilliant!

    CEO: Make it so. Bonuses all round, and the chocamochmochachoccas are on me!

    [Massive group hug]

    I just hope Hollywood don't get the same idea or we'll have to go back to making o

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.