Final Fantasy 16 is likely to receive a mature rating before its summer 2023 launch, in something of a first for games in Square Enix’s iconic RPG series. To date, there are only a handful of titles that go above the T or E rating, and Final Fantasy XVI seems to be one of them. In an interview with GameSpot, producer Naoki Yoshida said the team tracked this rating because it allowed them to more freely tell the story they wanted.
According to Yoshida, while he believes that somewhat restrictive ratings are important to ensure the right people are consuming the right content, trying to tell a more mature story while respecting the constraints of sub-adult ratings can slow down the creative process and the experience for disabled players.
“When you’re trying to tell a story with difficult adult themes, those ratings can become a hindrance. And you find yourself changing things you wanted to do in the game because of that rating. You wanted to show something, but because you have this particular review that you have to go to, you have to move the camera away. And that makes the whole experience feel a tad cheaper.
For Final Fantasy XVI, however, Square Enix breaks with the norm and pushes toward the mature end of the rating scale. So far, only Final Fantasy Type-0 and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin have been classified as mature, and both are spin-off titles. Final Fantasy XVI is the first in the mainline series to receive this rating.
“To ensure we can tell the story we wanted the way we wanted, this time we decided to aim for a mature rating in most regions where the game will be released,” explained Yoshida. “But again, that’s not because we just wanted to make the game more violent or explicit, but because we felt it necessary to give ourselves the opportunity to explore these more mature themes that the game is tackling.”
Although the ESRB rating is pending at the time of writing, PEGI, the European regulator, has already issued Final Fantasy XVI a preliminary 18 rating and based on the latest trailer, it’s likely to stay that way barring major changes to the game’s content.
Final Fantasy XVI will release Summer 2023 exclusively on PS5.
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