Journey Director Jenova Chen on Why He Won’t Play Final Fantasy VII Remake

Thatgamecompany co-founder and director of Journey and Sky: Children of the Light is Jenova Chen, but that’s not his real name. In an interview with IGNChen shared that he chose Jenova when he studied English at school. The class was instructed to choose an English name, and Chen’s friend (the only video game fan in the class) chose Cloud from Final Fantasy VII. Chen decided he had to choose a character even better than his friend, so he landed on Jenova, the extremely powerful extraterrestrial being, after deciding that Sephiroth was too difficult to pronounce and spell. “Jenova is completely worse than Cloud, so I chose that name,” Chen told IGN. Chen never intended to make Jenova his own name, but switched it to his university name when one of his professors tried to pronounce his real name, Xinghan, and it did. stuck from there.

Needless to say, Jenova Chen is a fan of Final Fantasy VII, so we wanted to hear his thoughts on Final Fantasy VII Remake as we talked to him about it. Sky: Children of the Light’s Third Anniversary. “I didn’t play it. I didn’t want to ruin my memories of Final Fantasy,” said Chen, “I chose to seal my memories like when I first played it.”

In the photo: Cloud, Jenova Chen's high school classmate.
In the photo: Cloud, Jenova Chen’s high school classmate.

The larger Final Fantasy VII series has recently experienced a revival of sorts, even beyond the remake and its sequels. There’s a mobile battle royale game that takes place in the Final Fantasy VII universe, First Soldier, a remake of Crisis Core, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, and many more new games in the works. However, Chen is not interested in the expansion of the Final Fantasy VII universe, despite being a big enough fan to adopt a character from the universe as his own name.

“Most people… their minds are most affected by something they go through when they’re 13 to 15 years old, when their prefrontal cortex is developing. That’s why things are in there. that’s never forgotten, because it’s in the later cells, built at the top,” says Chen, “And in many ways the lives of so many people, especially the lives of Artists, defined by those experiences. For me, look back at that again, now that I’ve matured with much more skeptical views? can only see bad things come from it.”

For more information from Jenova Chen, you can read our interview with him about Sky: Children of the Light’s Third Anniversary and his opinion about benefits of developing a live service game. You can also read GameSpot’s Review of Final Fantasy VII Remake and Review of Sky: Children of the Light by following the links.

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