Final Fantasy 16 will likely receive an adult rating for its summer 2023 launch, which is somewhat new to games in Square Enix’s storied role-playing 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 one of them. In an interview with Sirbpti, producer Naoki Yoshida said the team was pursuing this rating because it allowed them to tell the story they wanted more freely.
While he believes that somewhat restrictive reviews are important to ensure the right people are consuming the right content, Yoshida says he can try to tell a more mature story while adhering to the limitations of sub-adult ratings, the creative process and the experience for players.
“If you’re trying to tell a story with difficult adult themes, these ratings can eventually become a bit of a drag. 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 a certain assessment where you have to go, you have to put the camera away. And that makes the whole experience a little bit cheaper.”
For Final Fantasy XVI, however, Square Enix is breaking the norm and aiming for 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.
“To make sure we could tell the story we wanted in the way we wanted to this time around, we’ve decided to aim for a mature rating in most regions that will release the game,” explains Yoshida. from. “But again, this isn’t because we just wanted to make the game more violent or explicit, it’s because we felt it necessary to allow us to explore those more mature themes that the game tackles.”
While the ESRB rating is pending at the time of writing, PEGI, the European regulatory body, has already released Final Fantasy XVI provisional 18 rating and, based on the latest trailer, it will likely remain that way, barring major changes to the game’s content.
Final Fantasy XVI will be released exclusively on PS5 in the summer of 2023.
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