Following the announcement that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will be launching on February 29, 2024, game director Naoki Hamaguchi revealed in a PlayStation blog interview that players won't be able to carry over their saves from the previous game, stating that each title in the planned remake trilogy is a standalone game (via GamesRadar).
"We have announced that the Final Fantasy VII remake project will be a trilogy and that each entry will be a standalone game in its own right," Hamaguchi said. "Because of this, each game's balancing is done independently and a player’s levels and abilities will not carry over from one game to the next."
For players who played Remake, this accounts not only for your entire party, their levels, and their abilities, but also acquired weapons, Materia, armor, and accessories. But it's not all bad. To compensate those players who spent a lot of time progressing Remake, they'll be given some free gifts for playing the previous game, according to the director.
"We have created some special bonuses for fans who played the previous game, allowing them to start with a little something extra," Hamaguchi added.
A recent Square Enix blog post provides more details and confirms that PS5 players with Remake save data will be rewarded the Leviathan Summon Materia, as well as the Ramuh Summon Materia if you played Episode Intermission - Remake's DLC featuring Yuffie.
Rebirth will be released exclusively for PlayStation 5 and will pick up exactly where the previous game left off, as Cloud Strife and friends explore new regions in an expansive open world, with "nearly 100 hours of adventure," Square Enix said.