VII Advancements in Gaming Since the Original Final Fantasy® VII

Photo courtesy of Square Enix
Photo courtesy of Square Enix /
Brought to you by Final Fantasy® VII: Remake
Final Fantasy® VII Remake

Final Fantasy® VII marked a watershed moment in gaming, cementing itself almost immediately as a classic to stand the test of time. In the more than 20 years since its release, much about the gaming landscape has shifted. Here are seven major moments in gaming since that January day so many years ago.

1. Square Enix Releases An Avalanche of Follow-Ups

The Final Fantasy® franchise has hardly missed a step since Final Fantasy® VII's release. Eight games have been released in the main series, but that number pales in comparison to the dozens of spin-offs, expansions, and standalone titles bearing the Final Fantasy® seal that Square Enix has put out.

2. Steam Dominates Games Distribution

Valve released Steam in 2003, six years after Final Fantasy® VII went on sale, but it wasn't until the company required a Steam installation to play Half-Life 2 that the platform began its take-off. It is now by far the dominant virtual games retailer in the world, although competitors have continued to spring up — especially in the form of the Epic Games Store.

3. Online Multiplayer Becomes the Norm

Final Fantasy® VII had no online component. Now that kind of design is a rarity. Classic shooters such as Counter-Strike, and the MMORPG godfather World of Warcraft, helped usher in the world of interconnectivity gamers now experience on the daily.

4. Gaming Goes Competitive with Esports

With increased opportunity for multiplayer, games grew more competitive. From Starcraft, to Quake, to Halo and Call of Duty, players began turning their passions into massive competitive infrastructures. Million dollar esports competitions are everyone now, as the industry continues to grow and take form.

5. Virtual Reality Moves from Pipe-Dream to Real Life

Virtual reality had been the strict purview of science fiction for years, often touted as the epitome of science's capacity for entertainment — or escapism, if one is more cynically inclined. Then the Oculus Rift Kickstarter went viral. Suddenly the market was awash in VR kits, with giants such as HTC and Valve moving into the newly monetizable space.

6. Live-Streaming Becomes a Marketing Mainstay

First there were Let's Plays, not a few of which were of Final Fantasy® VII. Then came the live-streams. With all the fun of a Let's Play plus the added chaos of live action, live-streaming video games has become a potent force in the gaming landscape. Now streamers are making seven figures each year on the high end, and everyone and their grandma's going live on Twitch (or Mixer, if you're happy with a fraction of the viewers).

7. Games Become Services

The endless wheel of content spins on, hungering always for more to consume. If Final Fantasy® VII were dated by its lack of online multiplayer, its status as a single, finite experience makes it ancient. Now games like Destiny and PUBG offer endless replayability, building out economies to fuel the developers for years off a single title.

This article is brought to you by Final Fantasy® VII: Remake. Check out the trailer below: