The was a partnership in place which is different from a signed deal as a partnership is when two or more entities come together on a business venture a partnership can be agreed but doesn't exactly have to be seen through which is common. The partnership here clearly had the intent of a cd based platform but no contract was in place for the actual product itself when it came into being.
Monolith are a former SE team they did Xenogears, at the time of FFVII Square put a lot of their focus on VII over other projects and even pulled people from other teams to work on it one of the teams who got hit hard was the Xenogears team this left the game in an inconsistent state (elements of that were even used in VII) when released and to make things worse Square began focusing less on non FF projects due to VII's success so the full vision and planned future installment were put on hold which prompted the team lead by Takahasi and his wife to leave in 1999 and form their own studio. They had a stint with Namco before being bought by Nintendo in the tail end of the Gamecube era Monolith are now Nintendo's current top first party team outside of the internal EPD units.
For a formal partnership to exist there will exist at least a MOU signed after the DOA already being signed. So thanks to agree that there were already signed deal between parties.
Thanks for the story on Monolith. Because my memory of it was that it was much more recent than FF7 time.
Xenogears began as Final Fantasy VII but SE felt it was too dark. Cut their budget but still let them make the game but were unable to fully finish the game. That talent worked on SNES FF games and the Chrono series and left to what would become Monolith and develop the Xenosaga series. No, they didn't just jump to Nintendo. However they were unhappy at Namco I believe and somehow met with Nintendo and liked working with them with Gamecube and DS.
I would imagine seeing the stories from first party and some major publishers it is much better to work at first party studios.
duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"
Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"
Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."