Remember when the Final Fantasy VII remake was announced? Well, that was nearly three years ago. How about Kingdom Hearts III? That was in 2013. Yet, we still don’t have a concrete release date for either title. Kingdom Hearts III will allegedly come out sometime this year. But this is Square-Enix we’re talking about. You can’t take their word seriously. They have a history of announcing games but see no sign of said games for years, among other problems. I’d like to go into detail as to why these games seem like they’ll never come out. Let’s do this!
Square-Enix has a serious case of ADD. They seem more interested in making announcements rather than releasing finished products. Final Fantasy XV was announced back in 2006 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. They seriously need to work on better names for their games. The titles are starting to get ridiculous. Final Fantasy XIII came and went with no sign of Versus XIII anywhere. The project was rebooted numerous times. XV was final releases in late 2016 after a hellish decade long development cycle. This reveals how chaotic Square-Enix’s operations tend to be.
Additionally, many of their projects have the same people working on them, as is the case for Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. Tetsuya Nomura is directing both upcoming titles. It’s a daunting task for one man to direct two large scale games due out around the same time. Nomura seems to be completely overhauling Final Fantasy VII’s battle system, making it more action oriented. Nomura has stated on several occasions his dislike for turn-based combat. I’m sure its been difficult ironing out the kinks. This could be sorted out by keeping the turn-based combat. Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts are separate franchises. Stop trying to turn them into the same thing.
Another problem Square-Enix has is the amount of money they throw around for new advanced graphics engines. They are notorious for not knowing how to budget properly and end up with unreasonable sales expectations. No doubt this means an even more difficult development process. Square-Enix sure likes making things hard on their staff.
Hype is a plague upon the AAA industry and Square-Enix is no exception to hype culture. They constantly feel the need to drive hype. Its like they think we’ll completely forgot about these games. Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts are household names. I don’t think Square-Enix needs to worry about sales. People will buy these games regardless.
When one takes a close look at Square-Enix’s history, they will see repeating patterns of behavior. They love to make announcements and drive hype. Many poor financial decisions are made, and more pressure is on the staff to turn a profit. There is too much chaos in Square-Enix’s upper management. How could a company in such disarray be responsible for so many good games? Delays are common for any developer, but all these factors make the development process more stressful then it needs to be. With all these problems, its no wonder Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts III don’t even have release dates.