Fans of Square-Enix's Final Fantasy VII for the Sony PlayStation have long held out hope for a modernized high definition remake, but in lieu of that, I bet that most would happily take a PC re-release of the game on Valve's Steam digital distribution platform in addition to the re-release currently available on the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. RPG Site has dug up some interesting technical evidence indicating that Square-Enix had once planned to sell both Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII on Steam, but have apparently given up on the idea due to some technical shortcomings involved with porting the original PC versions of the games dating back to 1998 and 2000 to modern operating systems.
We were provided with proof that the files were from the Steam release and were shown some interesting differences between the files of the Steam version and the original discs. Specifically, the files appear to have been edited in 2010 by Square Enix to try to make the games run better on newer operating systems.
A thriving fan community was built around the PC ports of the Final Fantasy games, and fans continued to patch the games to work on newer operating systems long after Eidos abandoned them. Square Enix appear to have borrowed some of this work in trying to make the Steam release of Final Fantasy VIII work on modern machines.
The article goes on to detail how Square-Enix apparently used fan-made patches and launchers in their modernization work and attempted to integrate and improve upon what the fans had created and tweaked. It's interesting stuff and goes to show once again how the fan community helps keep a PC game alive long after its traditional sell-by date. Whatever caused the company to give up on the idea, it's a shame to see the Steam releases slip away. There's a whole new generation of fans out there just waiting to be crushed by Aeris's death. Perhaps the company will revisit the idea someday.