Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis, the mobile compilation aiming to bring all of the Final Fantasy VII extended universe’s stories together in one place, will have loot boxes, creative director Tetsuya Nomura confirmed yesterday in a new interview with Famitsu.
While the smartphone game itself will be free, there will be monetization mechanics built in around collecting special items and cosmetics. “The monetized element is basically loot boxes containing random weapons,” Nomura told Famitsu, based on a translation provided by Square Enix PR. “Some of the special weapons also come as a set that includes new costumes that were not in the original games, adding in a new way to enjoy the story that you won’t have seen before.”
Microtransactions in its mobile games are nothing new for Square Enix. Past games like Mobius Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius have had them as well. Some of the company’s early forays into free-to-play mobile games were disasters. Remember Final Fantasy: All the Bravest? It’s also occasionally gone the reverse route, taking a free-to-play game like Final Fantasy Legends: Crystal of Space-Time, stripping it of its microtransaction economy, and re-launching it with a premium price-tag as Final Fantasy Dimensions II.
Long story short: it remains to be seen how onerous Ever Crisis’ microtransactions actually end up being. The game is composed of chapters. Nomura says Final Fantasy VII’s story will be comprised of 10, for example, with the escape from Midgar beginning in chapter three. All of them will be free and added over time. Is there a world in which I end up preferring to pay $2 for each new chapter instead of $2 for a shot at unlocking a fancy redesigned Buster Sword for Cloud? Possibly. Loot box mechanics have a tendency to feel gross and exploitative regardless of how generously they’re implemented.
Here are some more interesting snippets about what’s cooking in Final Fantasy VII world from the interview:
- Battle royale game Final Fantasy VII: First Soldier will have a class system players can swap between.
- One of the chapters in Ever Crisis will provide the back story to First Soldier, taking place 30 years before the events of Final Fantasy VII and showing much younger versions of certain main characters.
- Final Fantasy VII: Remake’s Yuffie DLC will feature new Materia, summons, and a combo system during fights with her NPC companion Sonon.
- Final Fantasy VII: Remake Intergrade on the PS5 will have fewer gameplay capture restrictions, so the internet can finally start sharing some of its wilder spoiler moments.
I was really excited when Square Enix announced Ever Crisis because while on the one hand the company was double (triple, quadruple?) dipping on remaking Final Fantasy VII, it will also be the first time most people have access to playing some version of the game’s sprawling spin-off cannon. But will games like Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus ever get their own proper re-releases?
“We have also seen that people want to be able to play the various different series titles on the current console hardware, so the design concept behind Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis is not intended to be a replacement for that, but a convenient and casual way to touch on these games,” Nomura said in yesterday’s interview. Hmmm...