Did Square Enix Release the Wrong PC Version of Final Fantasy VII?

/ 2 years ago
final fantasy VII

Last week saw the long-awaited release of the Final Fantasy VII Remake on PC. Now, admittedly, the release was something of a hugely pleasant surprise. Particularly since it wasn’t expected to land until early to mid-2022. – So, with this undoubtedly representing one of my most anticipated gaming titles, what do I think of it so far? Well, honestly? I have no idea!

With it currently retailing for £69.99 exclusively on the Epic Games Store, as much as I might want to play this, out of a strictly moral stance, I’m simply not going to buy this until the price approaches something I consider reasonable and fair for the PC platform. – Following a report via PCGamesN, however, it seems that, at least for the moment, I might not be missing out on too much as a deep dive into the game’s files has revealed some potentially very worrying information.

Final Fantasy VII – The Wrong Build Edition?

Concerns were initially raised over reports that even on some very potent PC systems, ones that easily exceeded the official requirements we should add, the Final Fantasy VII PC version performed exceptionally poorly. One of the biggest complaints was huge drops in the FPS. Worse, as you can see below, the graphics settings menu for the game is woefully limited with, realistically speaking, only 5 very generic settings available to potentially help improve the game’s running experience.

And we should categorically note that this is not an issue with something like Denuvo. Why? Well, that’s surprisingly not included in this title and, in fact, there doesn’t seem to be much DRM going on at all. So, no, we’re probably not looking at a ‘Resident Evil Village’ situation here.

What could it be though? Well, a deep dive into the game’s files may have given us a very disturbing answer. Namely, that the version that has been released isn’t actually the finished version!

Debug Build – Not the Finished Release?

Various users who have decided to have a poke around the game’s files have found multiple references in the code to the current version of Final Fantasy VII Remake (on PC) being the “PPBC_Development” build. And in general coding terms, what it should say is something like “PPBC_Shipping”. – Put simply, there are accusations being made that Final Fantasy VII is running so poorly on PC because Square Enix has, somehow, accidentally published the wrong version of the game.

While this is, of course, something that can be fixed. It will likely require a total re-installation of the game. And, just to make those of you who have been playing it worry a bit more, this could potentially raise an issue with save file compatibility. – If Square Enix has released the wrong version of Final Fantasy VII, however, then this is a hugely inexcusable error. Lest we forget that the original trailer for the game cited ‘PC footage’ indicating that this version of the game was created and likely finished well before the PS4 release! – Ultimately, this comes down to three theories:

  • A simply error in updating the code to reflect the finished ‘shipping’ build
  • This is a debug version representative of the last time Square Enix actually touched it (which may well have been 2 years ago!)
  • Square Enix released the wrong version

The bottom line at the moment, however, is that if you were feeling mad enough to spend £69.99 on this, you might just want to wait a little while because, at the moment, there are more red flags than merely its (still completely insane) price tag!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

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