Square Enix Boss Hajime Tabata Would Turn Down Directing the Final Fantasy VII Remake

Remaking Final Fantasy VII is something fans demanded for year after year, and despite the fact that Square Enix is actually remaking the massive RPG, many have been wondering just how feasible it is to do a game of its size but with today’s visuals – specifically Square Enix’s penchant for bleeding-edge graphics.

A veteran within the company, Tetsuya Nomura, is helming the project as director, quite the step-up from his role on the original 1997 game as the main character designer. So far, Nomura has been optimistic and upbeat about the titanic scale of the project, reassuring fans despite endless speculation. Would another Square Enix boss, Hajime Tabata, take on this project? Apparently not.

The Head of Square Enix’s Business Division 2 and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that oversees the entire franchise said he’d turn down being the director on the project – news confirmed with an interview between Tabata and Gamerevolution at this year’s Tokyo Game Show.

“No I wouldn’t,” Tabata said in the interview. When pressured to explain why, he said that “it’s something I couldn’t make, myself. That’s about it.”

He was naturally pushed a bit more to explain his stance further and if there would be a lot of pressure, to which he said “Final Fantasy VII is a special game.” He continued:

“It’s such a special numbered game that I don’t think I can remake that one. There’s so many fans out there, if I were asked to satisfy all those fans, I don’t think that’s something I could do, 100%.

If [Square Enix] asked me to make a new Final Fantasy and take it in a new direction, I’d be happy to accept that one, but if they asked me to remake Final Fantasy VII — to release as if it were a modern game, just released today — no, I don’t think that’s something I can do. I think the only people who could do that are Mr. (Yoshinori) Kitase and Mr. (Tetsuya) Nomura.”

He was then commended for his work on Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, however Tabata quickly pointed out this wasn’t the main game, it’s just a spinoff-prequel of sorts. He did, however, say he’d consider making Final Fantasy VII-2, adding “that might be different.”

Despite his talent and standing within the company, many worried Final Fantasy Versus XIII, now re-branded as Final Fantasy XV, took eons in development because of mismanagement – where Nomura was originally the director since its inception way back in 2006. Once the game was rebranded and Tabata took over, it finally started to have some kind of release window.

It’s worth pointing out that while the Final Fantasy VII remake has no solid release window to speak of currently, it will be released in three separate games.

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.