Speaking to Famitsu (via an official English translation provided to VGC), Nomura said Square Enix wanted to branch out into a new genre in an attempt to introduce its long-running series to a wider user base.
“There is a strong belief that we should not be sitting on our laurels with the weight of the FFVII name behind us though, and so we set about developing FFVII FS with the gumption to compete as a new challenger in what is the hottest gaming genre right now,” he said.
“I think that many in the core audience for this genre will not know about FFVII or maybe even never have played a Final Fantasy game at all.
“I do want people to discover an interest in the world of FFVII from this game, but it goes without saying that if we are going to do it properly then there can be no half measures, and we are putting everything we have into getting the content of the game right too.
“It is a genre that we do not really have any experience in, but also one that a lot of FFVII fans might not have tried before, so I hope that we can all take on this new challenge together.”
Nomura said First Soldier features “a lot of classic FF elements” designed to help it stand out from competitors in the battle royale genre, including allowing team members to choose “a job-like play style” before each match.
“Each style has its own unique skills and abilities, and you can change the one you set for each battle. There are advantages to continuously using the same style, but we will reveal exactly what exactly those are at a later date.”
Final Fantasy 7 Remake director Nomura recently took on a broader creative director position overlooking all FF7 projects. He told Famitsu his involvement in First Soldier is focused on fine-tuning the feel of the controls and the gameplay.
“Also, with the game being for smartphone platforms, I am making sure that the team does not disappoint in terms of the graphics,” he added.
First Soldier’s producer, Shoichi Ichikawa, is “a big battle royale player” who originally came up with the idea for the game. “He will really be the voice of the player base on the team and provide expert opinions on what needs focus and where the fine-tuning needs to be,” Nomura said.
He also confirmed that Square Enix is planning a closed beta test for the game, with more details set to be announced at a future date.
Elsewhere in the interview, Nomura said Square Enix is currently prioritising Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2’s development over any potential further DLC for the original game.