Though the headlines may sound grim, the result of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI’s removal from sales is actually quite promising. These heavily criticized Final Fantasy PC ports are being pulled from Steam to make way for the new Final Fantasy Pixel Remastered series, consisting of the first six games in the franchise.
As reported by IGN, the Pixel Remaster series was announced to be arriving in July, at least according to the now-removed short trailer Square Enix initially uploaded to YouTube. However, fans then noticed that two games from the series, Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI, had their Steam pages uploaded, stating that the games won’t be available for purchase after July 27th, 2021. And while it’s unfortunate that these games face removals from digital distribution platforms to make way for the Pixel Remaster version, it’s worth noting that Steam versions of said games weren’t held in high regard by the franchise’s fandom.
Both Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI were released to PC in 2015 as ported versions of the original PlayStation games. And while it was great to have them in a more accessible format, both games were heavily criticized upon their release for reducing the quality of the original art, washed-out effects that diminished the overall style of graphics and being generic ports of the game. In addition, according to fandom, they couldn’t even come near to the classic pixel art of the original versions of the games.
However, the Pixel Remaster series offers to remedy justly dealt criticism by launching remastered versions of the first six games. Final Fantasy I through III were previously pulled from Stream, and Pixel Remaster versions of said games already have new pages set up, signaling an upcoming release date – July 28th, 2021. Pixel Remaster edition of Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI also have new pages uploaded but lack an official release date –it only says “2021” for now.
The announcement of Pixel Remaster has a polarizing effect on the fandom: some are excited to see the first entries of their favorite series remastered, while others continue to criticize Square Enix for neglecting console releases of said games. The fandom has been crying out for console versions of the classic games for years, only to have their cries fall on deaf ears, as classic titles remain locked for mobile and PC. And while Final Fantasy VII through XII remain available on the latest gaming console and mobile systems, the console versions of the original titles are nowhere to be found or heard of.
Interestingly enough, other updated versions of the original titles, such as 3D remakes of Final Fantasy III and IV, will remain available for purchase on Steam, despite receiving a Pixel Remaster treatment. So it seems that fans are given a choice in which version of the games they’d want to play. The official release date for the first three games is July 28th, a day after Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI get removed from the store. But the release date for those particular games still remains obscure. Given Square Enix’s involvement in the announced Final Fantasy animated series and a new PS5 game, it would seem that the company has its hands full.