Midgar is getting an unreal makeover.
Epic Games announced today that Square Enix is making the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake with Unreal Engine 4. This is a bit of surprise, as Square Enix often uses in-house engines for Final Fantasy, its premier franchise. The PlayStation 3’s Final Fantasy XIII used Crystal Tools, and the upcoming Final Fantasy XV employs Luminous Studios.
In-house engines like Crystal Tools and Luminous Studios are often expensive and difficult to make, while using licensed ones like Unreal Engine 4 can free developers of much of the grunt work that comes along with a homemade system. Unreal is the engine for in-development releases like Gears of War 4 and Street Fighter V. Other upcoming Square Enix games with Unreal Engine 4 include Dragon Quest XI and Kingdom Hearts III.
“We’re humbled that Square Enix has chosen Unreal Engine 4 to re-create one of the world’s most beloved video games of all time,” said Taka Kawasaki, territory manager for Epic Games Japan, in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “It is a joy to work with the talented developers behind the franchise, and this marks an unforgettable moment in Unreal Engine history.”
It’s surprising that Square Enix isn’t using Luminous Studios especially, since it’s such a new engine for the upcoming installment in the Final Fantasy series. However, development on Final Fantasy XV has been troubled, and even its first demo suffered from performance issues like framerate drops. Maybe these problems pushed Square Enix to use Unreal Engine 4 for Final Fantasy VII Remake, which the developer claims will be bigger than the original game.