What can we expect from Final Fantasy’s anniversary celebrations?

June is going to be a potentially huge month if you’re a fan of the Final Fantasy franchise, as it is the anniversary of a quite a few titles: the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII, the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy IX, plus the 35th anniversary of the series as a whole. While there are no set in stone dates yet, Square Enix has said there would be some anniversary-related announcements towards the end of this month or, more likely, in June.

So today I want to go over some of the things that I think we will be seeing during this collection of Final Fantasy milestones. Some will be more level-headed expectations — basically the stuff I think we’re actually likely to see — while some of it will be my big hopes that we probably won’t actually see. Without further ado, let’s set ourselves up for disappointment!

 Final Fantasy VII Evercrisis

Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis

There is a chance some of you won’t remember what this game is and that’s because we didn’t really hear anything after it was initially shown in 2021. However, just recently it was confirmed that the game will supposedly be released this year. No date was specific, but they still provided a release window which makes Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis the most likely thing to see from this list. 

In case you did forget, based on the original teaser trailer, Ever Crisis was shown to be complete remaster of the original Final Fantasy VII plus all of the “compilation” games and movies that make up the wider FFVII world. The game has a new look compared to the original 1997 release but remains authentic to the original game’s presentation, and plays in a way that emulates the Active Time Battle system of the original. It was also said that the game’s content would be released episodically, but I don’t think we ever got any more detail on what exactly this means. 

Finally, the game was announced as a mobile game for iOS and Android. Personally, I think that it would be a big mistake for Square Enix to keep this confined to mobile — it should see a Nintendo Switch release at the very least. I love playing some of the older Japanese RPGs on the Switch and I think that Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis would be perfect on that system. (Given that we’re still waiting for the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters to come to consoles, I wouldn’t hold your breath! – Ed.)

Final Fantasy XVI

Final Fantasy XVI

During a recent Nier crossover stream, producer Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida confirmed that the trailer for FFXVI is ready and that it has been for some time. However, it was delayed for various reasons — though Yoshi-P ended by saying “I think it will be coming soon”.

Now if you guys remember, there was supposed to be some more news on FFXVI back in late 2021, and now here we are nearly in June without so much as a crumb of news about FFXVI. 

@Aitaikimochi on Twitter translated some more of what was said on the Nier stream and let all of us know that Naoki Yoshida also said “the dev team spent a long time polishing and debugging the game” and that “the game is pretty much complete”. This isn’t something we should take at face value, as we still have to consider all of the marketing time and pre-release polishing that these big game releases have.

However, considering the timing of this information and the fact that the anniversary is coming in June, I can’t help but think that it is more than a coincidence and there is some hype-building going on here. My expectations, if I’m being as sensible as possible, is that we will see a new trailer for FFXVI featuring more gameplay, story information, and maybe some more characters — and we might see a release date of Q2 2023 if we’re lucky. Conor’s stamp of guarantee on that one. 

Final Fantasy IX

Final Fantasy IX

Another one of the big birthday games — it’s the 20th anniversary of FFIX. So far, we already know that FFIX will be getting an animated series. Just recently Bruno Danzel d’Aumont, the vice president of Cyber Group Studios, who are in charge of the animated adaptation, announced that the series will be properly revealed at the Las Vegas Licensing Expo this week. 

So if this all goes through without any problems and we do in fact get the first look at this series, I think it’s almost 100% guaranteed that we will see the trailer again during the anniversary, but I think we could also see something about a remaster of the game as well. 

If you remember, there was a massive leak of upcoming games courtesy of Nvidia GeForce last year. On this huge list were numerous titles such as Street Fighter 6, a game we now know is in development, Kingdom Hearts IV, a game we also know is now in development, and many more. On this list there was also an FFIX remaster — and considering the animated series is coming, it makes total sense that they would want to use this opportunity to generate hype for both the series and such a remaster if it really exists. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Now we enter dream territory. I’ll be completely honest, I don’t think we’re going to see anything substantial for the next part of the FFVII Remake series. Considering that Square Enix already has FFXVI, which we know (hope – Ed.) we will be seeing something for this year, as well as some other games such as Forspoken coming out later in 2022, I can’t imagine that we will be seeing a release date just yet for my sweet prince, Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2. 

If I’m optimistic though, I think at the very least we might see a teaser and title card — that’s my bet. Plus Tetsuya Nomura, the director of Remake and main character designer for the original FFVII, did say that there will be news around FFVII’s 25th anniversary in June. I have every single part of my body crossed in hopes of something related to the sequel. 

Now for a mixture of both realism and optimism, let’s toss in a little bit of personal hope as well. FFVII Remake’s time as a PlayStation exclusive came to end when it landed on the Epic Games Store last December. I believe that we’ll be getting a Steam release date announced during the anniversary. I don’t know what it says about me that I’m happy to have another platform to be able to buy and play the game on again, but hey, I would buy a Steam release of FFVII Remake instantly.

What are your hopes for the upcoming Final Fantasy anniversary celebrations? Let us know down in the comments, via the usual social channels or on the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!

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Conor Evans
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