We’re now approaching three full years since Sony first announced it was remaking the beloved for the PlayStation 4. In that time, we’ve only seen a quick trailer’s worth of gameplay footage (itself now over two years old) and a few scattered pieces of concept art for the mysterious project.
Now, a new Japanese job posting from publisher Square Enix suggests the developers are still in the early stages of the project, which aims to be something much more ambitious than a simple remake of the 1997 original.
As translated by Gematsu, Square Enix’s new job posting is looking for a “Battle Planner” that will lead the “creation of a battle system that combines commands and action” (this despite the fact that battle scenes were shown in a 2015 trailer for the project). The publisher is also filling a “Level Planner” position that will devise ideas for level designs and help construct a “workflow for location production.”
Suffice it to say, these don’t sound like positions that would be necessary for a mature, years-old development effort that is nearing the final stages of polish. Instead, they suggest Square Enix is still in the early planning stages for the remake, shaping the basic outlines of the game’s structure and concept years after its announcement. That’s bad news for anyone hoping for an impending release in the next few months (or years).
Last year, Square Enix announced it was shifting to an internal development team rather than leaning on the “support for external partners” for the project, which could help explain the delay in progress. Around the same time, the company posted a recruitment ad that said it was heading into the “development progress phase” and looking for more internal help.
“Reproducing the world of in high-definition requires an extraordinary amount of time and resources, so we’ll need all the help we can get to shorten that,” Director Tetsuya Nomura said at the time. “In order to further strengthen the development of this title, we must urgently recruit as much staff as possible.”
The new job posting notes the developers are “aiming at nothing less than a ‘new creation’ not limited to a simple remake [of ].” The team is planning to “preserve the existing concepts users hold while creating a new world view” and has the goal to “create ‘a title that surpasses the original,'” according to the posting.
That echoes ambitious talk for the remake project going back to 2015, when Nomura said in an interview that the game “won’t be a simple remake” and promised “more work” being done on the original story. In a separate 2015 interview, Nomura noted that “there certainly are some staff who put too much of a focus on the ‘-ness’ and are resistant to changing it… I’ve got a lot of attachment to myself. But those ‘feelings’ and being ‘trapped’ by the of the past are two separate things.”
Square Enix is no stranger to long, drawn-out development processes for its titles. originally began life as a spinoff called , publicly announced way back in 2006. The project endured a major staff reshuffling, the transition to a new engine, and a shift from the PS3 to PS4 before its eventual release in late 2016.
Hopefully we won’t have to wait through ten years of development to see Square Enix’s renewed vision for . But mark your calendars for late 2025, just in case.