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Final Fantasy 7 fans outraged at the decision to tone down The Honey Bee Inn for the Remake

Final Fantasy VII developers announce more changes, anger ensues.

In a recent interview, the developers of the Final Fantasy VII Remake released a few more pieces of information regarding their plans for the game, as well as drawing the ire of many fans by stating that some of the content would need to be toned down for a modern audience.

Producer Toshinori Kitase and director Tetsuya Nomura stated in an interview with the Japanese games blog Esuteru that they would have to be "careful" about how they approach certain scenes due to the "time and social situation." They made specific reference to The Honey Bee Inn as well as the date that occurs in Gold Saucer, possibly meaning that Barret will no longer be an option for Cloud's moonlit cable car ride.

A real remake, not just visual upgrade

Final Fantasy VII Remake was arguably one of the most exciting announcements at E3 2015 because fans have been clamouring for this beloved classic to be brought into the modern age. Since its reveal, however, almost every change announced by the developers has angered the fans of the original, and this one has been no different.

Some Twitter users have furiously condemned these statements as pandering to political correctness, which they feel will ruin the game, but when taking a step back and looking at it objectively, it's obvious that their actions make sound business sense.

Considering the fact that it's basically accepted that Cloud was molested in The Honey Bee Inn by those burly chaps sporting 1970s porn 'staches, if this scene in particular was to be remade with a modern, clearer graphics engine, the game's age rating would have to be pushed up, essentially sacrificing the sales from any younger gamers who intend to play the game.

Pushing up the rating wouldn't necessarily be a problem if the rest of the game was overtly sexual or violent, but if you've played the game you know that that isn't the case. With that said, is it really worth losing out on potentially thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of sales for the preservation of a few short scenes?

Published Jan. 7th 2016
  • NekoShogun
    Wait, I don't even remember the honey bee inn scene. Was that even a major plot point? Or was it completely to the side and unnecessary?
  • Mathenaut
    "With that said, is it really worth losing out on potentially thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of sales for the preservation of a few short scenes?"

    This doesn't fly for the same reason that censorship of GTA wouldn't broaden it's appeal. If anything, the brand impact of this decision would hurt more.

    Though, this kind of censorship isn't new. Some companies have the nerve to preserve their integrity while others falter in some way or another. At the very least, don't pretend that the reason is anything but what we know it to be. Not fooling anyone.
  • Akeem Favor
    Featured Contributor
    So an update in graphics is suddenly going to make scenes more inappropriate than they were when they were first released? That just seems like a scapegoat reason.
  • Chief-Moha
    its not just the graphics alone in my opinion, but ill talk about that in a second. I see it this way as far as graphics go.

    The original FF7 graphics had characters made of polygons as they roamed the world. which is when the particular Honey bee inn scene took place, i think this made it more comedic rather than if it was to happen with this gens graphics.

    But the main reason is that ESRB rating system is far more strict than back then. the world has changed and all these hot debates about video games over the stupid stuff would make any developer cautious to release this kinda of content. back then games were way less regulated. They were not as widely accepted or recognized as they are today.
  • Chief-Moha
    I can understand why they would want to cut the part with the guys and cloud at the honey bee inn. with the graphics we have these days it could easily if not automatically make the game Rate M. However i hope they leave the method at which he sneaks into the Honey Bee Inn the same.

    However i think that removing the option to romance a male character from the game would be offensive to a lot of gay gamers. if Having the option to romance a female character in the game did not bump up the ESRB rating why should having a male romance option do so?

    I think they need to be careful about how they go about doing this. if they go about this the wrong way they can easily end up offending Both gays and cross dressers.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    This is why they waited so long to remake. There's no way they'll be able to please the fans with this, it's going to piss people off. That being said, I hope they do an uncut version for Japan or something, that'll be the version I get. It seems like that isn't how it is happening though.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    Well it's the target market, right? I'm not sure if this is internationally going to be the same or not, but North America has been really iffy about what exactly they want and don't want in a video game. I imagine it makes it really tough for developers to work around.
  • Jay Ricciardi
    Contributor
    inb4 people claim they won't buy this game now because it's too 'PC' or 'pandering' but then buy it anyways because it's FFVII and they need it.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    But... wouldn't this be the opposite? In fact, this is quite literally the antithesis of the argument I was making in the other article. By removing this scene they are both derailing this game from the original text, and at the same time offending their target demographic... aren't they?
  • Mathenaut
    "By removing this scene they are both derailing this game from the original text, and at the same time offending their target demographic... aren't they?"

    This is true. Though, Jay has somewhat of a point. When a franchise expands beyond a niche base, then unpopular changes have marginal impact so long as most core elements are intact. For the people (like me and others) who will pass on this, there are plenty who don't care.

    From the company's perspective, it's easier to malign a few upstanding fans than face a media slander campaign for 'problematic' content.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    I think your point is one of the reasons the video game market has sorta moved toward the safety of mobile freemium games. They're a lot safer PR wise, and they make a lot of money without needing to worry about markets.

    The political battlefield in the United States/Canada (I'm saying this, because in my own experience this doesn't seem to be a problem anywhere else I've ever lived) is extremely volatile, and it seems to be a major problem for developers in East Asia, Eastern, and sometimes even Western Europe. I'm afraid that these things might lead to a sort of... I don't know... flatline in creativity in North American media?

    I know that's a bit extreme of a statement, but I can imagine it within the realm of possible outcomes. Television media seems to have already become a monochromatic scale between what I like to call "Dramatic Action Pornos" and "Adult Cartoons", all of which tend to share a common formula in plotlines and whatnot. It would also explain the growth of demographics that tune into foreign media as an alternative - going so far as learning entirely new languages to avoid the frothing pot of rehashed stories.

    Time will tell, of course, and I hope that my theory is all just sandcastles. I'm just hoping that all this news lately is mere coincidences, and not omens. :P
  • Mathenaut
    History repeats, because people don't know history.
    It'll definitely change the game for the better in the long run, though not in the way that the moral censors will hope.

    More Sunsets will burn and more GTAs will thrive. Gawker will burn, Polygon will slide further into irrelevance. A big middle finger to the moral censors will take the form of wild and outlandish ideas. Some will be crap, but the gems that come out of it will be some of the most celebrated in gaming history.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    It all reminds me of what my grandmother used to say: "If you won't beat it into them, don't bother with it. People are like kids: you tell them to stop doing something, and then all of them want to do it."
  • Mathenaut
    Moral censors represent a certain kind of hypocrisy and abuse of self-proclaimed authority that make them great villain fodder, not only in games, but in real life.

    'Good games that moral censors don't like' are a goldmine. Foreign studios doesn't have much of a direct lifeline to the consumer base, though, so execs reasonably presume that the outrage over trivial things is more than just sound and fury.

    They'll learn soon enough that it's of no real consequence, but until then, good people (and games) will suffer.

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