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Square Enix reclaims control of Final Fantasy VII Remake development

CyberConnect2 no longer leading the hotly-anticipated RPG revival

Japanese publisher Square Enix has taken back development duties for the upcoming remake of Final Fantasy VII.

The revamped version of arguably the publisher's most iconic release was previously being built in partnership with third-party studio CyberConnect2 - as was revealed shortly after the game was unveiled back at E3 2015.

However, the arrangement with the studio has been terminated and all work on the game will be handled in-house by a Square Enix team, Kotaku reports. The news emerged during a recent Mobius Final Fantasy stream.

Naoki Hamaguchi, a member of the development team, said this was a "sensitive subject", adding: "I've taken over the development side of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Up until now, development has progressed by receiving external collaboration, but from here on out, with production and quality in mind, we're shifting to our in-house organisation.

"This company decision was made wanting to control quality as well as keeping the schedule stable."

There are no more details on why this partnership has fallen apart, although Kotaku notes that FFVII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura previously took umbrage with a trailer CyberConnect2 put together for the project, claiming it didn't adhere to Square Enix's style.

The decision no doubt stems partly from the desire to follow up on the success of last year's Final Fantasy XV. The game sold 6m units in just under two months, which helped drive the publisher to record revenues and net profit for the last fiscal year.

Given the long-running demand for a remake of FFVII and the success of XV, it is perhaps understandable that Square Enix wants to put more direct effort into future Japanese titles. Its relationship with Western properties is becoming increasingly strained: underwhelming sales of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided prompted the publisher to put the series on hiatus, and earlier this month it emerged that Square is trying to sell Hitman developer IO Interactive - a surprise decision that has already led to redundancies.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is currently being built exclusively for PlayStation 4 using Epic's Unreal Engine. There is no word on a release date.

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