Update 07/21/2022 6:10 p.m. ET: Sony and Square Enix have resolved the issue, according to Polish games site XPG. The original story follows.
Those with PlayStation Extra or Premium memberships eager to catch up on the events of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s DLC, Intermission (god, these names) might be out of luck if they got a digital version of the base Final Fantasy VII Remake on PlayStation 4 or 5.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, which packages the base game and the Intermission DLC, was a surprise expansion of the 2020 release from Square Enix. It included a separate, new chapter in the revised story of the original. Focusing on Yuffie Kisaragi, this side story helps bake her character into the narrative a bit more organically, as she was a completely optional and totally missable character in the original PlayStation release in 1997.
If you’re somewhat of a Final Fantasy VII scholar, then you know there were some other ambitions to include her and the story of her village, Wutai, into the main story of the original release. Since Remake aims to tweak elements of the old story, it makes sense to see optional characters like Yuffie and the gun-wielding Vincent Valentine serve more essential roles in the story. But if you owned a digital copy of Remake on PS4 or PS5 before Intergrade came out, this new story content might be tricky to get on Sony’s subscription service.
Sony’s take on the Game Pass formula of offering a selection of older and more modern games for subscribers has brought Stray, a ton of Assassin’s Creed, and the the very awesome Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade. But as reported by Video Games Chronicle, there’s a bit of a twist: Intergrade, the package deal combining the 2020 remake of the 1997 PlayStation classic is what’s available on the subscription service, not Intermission, the new episode focusing on the character Yuffie. You cannot acquire Intermission separately on the service. What’s worse is that if you owned the original Remake digitally, you can’t even download the full Intergrade combo. In some cases, you may not be able to play Intergrade at all, even if purchased, as Kotaku found.
Kotaku has reached out to Square Enix and Sony for comment.
As it stands, attempts to download Intergrade, for users with this existing predicament of having owned the original digitally already, are met with an error that says:
You can’t buy this product for the following reasons:
You already own the following products, which conflict with the product you’re trying to buy: FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE.
Reddit user bLinkbruhyen reported their experience and frustration with this complication on r/PS5, sharing their communication from Square Enix that indicates nothing more than the obvious: If you have Final Fantasy VII Remake digitally, then you cannot get Intergrade as a part of your PlayStation subscription. A follow up edit from PlayStation seems to suggest that a change might be on the way, but nothing’s certain.
As bLinkbruheyn points out in their post, they’re unlikely to be the only ones who got a digital copy of Remake when it was free via PlayStation Plus last year. This is echoed by Twitter user LasTedOnEarth, who described the situation as “unfair.”
While subscription services such as Xbox’s Game Pass have more than proven their place in modern gaming, weird licensing hiccups and specific rules for specific versions of games are likely to pop up. It’s just a shame that it had to happen to such a popular one.