The developers chose to build unique assets for each location rather than repurposing and reusing a select few.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake – in spite of being set entire in Midgar, which was essentially only the introductory area of the PS1 original – promises to be a full-length game, and this is reflected in its massive file size of 100 GB as well. But there’s plenty of 30-40 hour-long games out there that don’t even weigh half as much- so why is it that Final Fantasy 7 Remake requires so much space?
Speaking with US Gamer, the game’s co-director co-director Naoki Hamaguchi gave a straight answer to that question. While repurposing and reusing assets is something that many (or most, actually) games and developers do in the industry to not only save memory, but also cut down development time where possible, that’s not something Square Enix have done with Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
“Rather than thinking about repurposing standard assets for individual locations, like the Slums or the Shinra Building, we decided to build each location using unique assets to achieve the quality desired for [Final Fantasy 7 Remake],” said Hamaguchi.
According to him, the development team built unique assets – including environments, objects, background music, and NPCs – for each location within Midgar to really help it come alive and feel like a diverse, breathing location. A consequence of that, of course, was the game’s huge file size.
“As such, we designed assets like the backgrounds, [background music], and characters per location, which allowed for a unique gameplay experience in each area, even from a game design perspective,” Hamaguchi said.