I remember it being a derivative attempt by Sony to grab the hype train for big budget JRPG's after FF7 ignited said train.
???? FF7 released in 1997, this game started development in 1996
So at the time of its funding, Sony nor Square would know how FF7 would do in sales because it didn't release yet to really argue this game only existed as some grab at hype as if Sony didn't make games or something.
It definitely wasn’t critically acclaimed at the time
20 years ago, to move over 1 million units, someone must of liked it lol