Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's PS5 Exclusivity Helped Square Enix Design its 'Seamless' Open World

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There have been a lot of questions regarding the Final Fantasy 7 Remake games’ console exclusivity. The first game was only available on PS4, coming to PC more than a year after release. Even four years on, the game hasn’t been released on Xbox consoles, and there’s no word yet on when its sequel, FF7 Rebirth, will break out of its PS5 exclusivity period. While keeping the games exclusive to a console has drawn criticism, it has also helped its developers to optimize the game in a way they couldn’t have if they targeted multiple platforms at launch.

Speaking to The Washington Post, FF7 Rebirth producer Yoshinori Kitase talked about how approaching it as a console exclusive helped the team achieve its sky-high ambitions. “Had it not been on a single platform, the world map would not be seamless, and game design may have had to regress significantly,” Kitase said.

FF7 Rebirth not only uses the memory and storage architecture of the PS5 to its advantage for its level design, but it also takes into account the DualSense controller in its minigames. Porting over the game to PC or Xbox consoles wouldn't be impossible, but it would have added extra dev time and demanded more resources from the team that would distract them from iterating on their designs for the sequel.

Key art for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.<p>Square Enix</p>
Key art for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.

Square Enix

The sequel has been widely acclaimed as one of the best in the Final Fantasy franchise, and a lot of that praise is directed towards the sheer breadth and variety of content in it. While FF7 Remake was around 40 hours long if you completed all of its quests, Rebirth more than doubles that with more variety in locations, missions, and minigames. A lot of that can be credited to the development team's employee retention, which saw 80% of the team carried over from Remake to Rebirth.

“By carrying over the bonds we created with teammates from the first installment, we could avoid any time-wasting detours that would come with assembling a totally new team,” said Kitase.

<p>Square Enix</p>

Square Enix

Work on the third and final game of the FF7 Remake trilogy has already begun, and the development team has a new challenge ahead of them. The next game’s open world will have to accommodate for the Highwind, a giant airship that’s introduced towards the end of Rebirth. “I definitely want to address the same for what is likely expected from our experience with the Highwind to explore the world,” said Naoki Hamaguchi, game director of FF7 Rebirth.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is available for PS5.