Nintendo and Square Enix Parted Ways Over Final Fantasy VII, Here’s What Happened
Final Fantasy VII is one of the most successful Final Fantasy games of all time but whenever you think of Final Fantasy VII, PlayStation comes to mind. However, the series originally began on Nintendo but with the release of N64, Square Enix and Nintendo had to part ways to differences of its architecture and use of cartridges.
Many rumors surround the matter saying that Nintendo and Square Enix didn’t part ways on the best of terms. Nobody clearly knows what happened but a recent piece by Polygon has shed some light on it.
Hiroshi Kawai [Character programmer, Square Japan]: I’ll say this. I’m impressed with what Nintendo [was] able to do with the 64 hardware. Mario, Zelda — their devs must be top notch to be able to do that. But that’s essentially the extent of what you can do with the hardware. And you would get nowhere near anything like a Final Fantasy running on it.
Hironobu Sakaguchi [creator of Final Fantasy]: When we made our decision, the president of Square [Masafumi Miyamoto], our lead programmer [Ken Narita] and I went to a meeting with Yamauchi-san. There is an old cultural tradition where, in Kyoto, someone will welcome you with tea, but you’re not supposed to really drink that tea. It’s just polite to have it there. And Yamauchi-san welcomed us with a very expensive bento meal and beer, and gave us a very nice welcome and basically patted us on the back to say, “I wish you the best.” No bitter feelings or anything.
Hiroshi Kawai: I think [Sakaguchi] is just trying to be politically correct with that one.
Yoshihiro Maruyama [Executive vice president, Square U.S.]: I don’t think [anyone from Nintendo gave us a hard time]. They said, “Oh, we don’t need that.” That’s what they said. [Laughs] Their philosophy has always been that Nintendo hardware is for their games, and if a publisher wants to publish, “OK you can do it.” But if you don’t like it, “We don’t want you.”
Hiroshi Kawai: What I heard was Nintendo said, “If you’re leaving us, never come back.”
Nintendo and Square Enix are back working with each other on Nintendo Switch games.