Final Fantasy 16 is likely to receive a mature rating before its summer 2023 release, which is a first for games in Square Enix’s RPG series. To date, there are only a handful of titles that go beyond the T or E rating, and Final Fantasy XVI seems to be among them. In an interview with GameSpot, producer Naoki Yoshida said that the team pursued this rating because it allowed them to tell the story they wanted more freely.
According to Yoshida, while he believes that somewhat restrictive ratings are important to ensure that the right content is consumed by the right people, trying to tell a more mature story and adhering to ratings restrictions below the mature level can hamper the creative process and player experience
“When you’re trying to tell a story with difficult adult themes, these ratings can end up becoming a hindrance. And you find yourself changing things that you wanted to do in the game based on that rating. You wanted to show something, but because you have this rating determined to the one you need to go to, you need to move the camera away. And that ends up making the whole experience feel a little cheaper.”
However, for Final Fantasy XVI, Square Enix is breaking with the norm and pushing towards the mature end of the rating scale. To date, only Final Fantasy Type-0 and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin have been rated as mature, and both are spin-off titles. Final Fantasy XVI is the first in the main series to receive this rating.
“This time, to make sure we can tell the story we wanted in the way we wanted, we decided to go for a mature rating in most of the regions that will release the game,” Yoshida explained. “But again, this isn’t because we simply wanted to make the game more violent or more explicit, it’s because we felt it was necessary to allow ourselves to explore those more mature themes that the game addresses.”
Although the ESRB rating is pending at the time of this writing, PEGI, the European regulatory body, has already issued Final Fantasy XVI to provisional rating 18 and, based on the latest trailer, it’s likely to stay that way, unless major adjustments are made to the in-game content.
Final Fantasy XVI will release Summer 2023 exclusively on PS5.
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