Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

The Final Fantasy 16 “Lack Of Diversity” Bait

By Baiting Irrelevance Jun23,2023

The next Final Fantasy 16 game is set to take place in medieval Europe. If there is one thing that we know about medieval Europe, it’s their highly diverse population. The fact that Final Fantasy 16 chooses to ignore this diversity is highly problematic. It is so problematic that many people are choosing to boycott the game. At least, that is the claim made by some internet journalists. The topic of diversity within video games is nothing new, and recently, that debate found its way to Final Fantasy. As expected, this conversation had people deeply divided.

Final Fantasy is a classic within the gaming community dating back to December 1987. In many ways, it paved the way for some genres of video games today. Despite the IP being almost 40 years old, they are still one of the most popular franchises. They are one of the best-selling series, selling over 173 million copies of their game. As of today, the series has generated more than $18 billion worldwide. This is a massive accomplishment if you consider that they are mainly exclusive to a handful of devices.

Most Final Fantasy games are primarily reserved for Nintendo and PlayStation, cutting out other platforms such as Xbox and PC. Despite this, they continue to sell exceptionally well. However, with the studio now more open to non-exclusive releases, they will likely sell millions more. For many, this title is what brought them into video games. Final Fantasy helped define the original PlayStation and largely contributed to its success. It is hard to believe that they are still so influential all these years later.

Final Fantasy 16: Show Your Diversity

As established, the topic of diversity within Final Fantasy is nothing new. Despite this being a Japanese role-playing game, many in the West feel that Square Enix needs to do more to showcase a broader range of ethnic backgrounds. This topic was at the forefront when IGN interviewed one of the game’s creators, Naoki Yoshida. During the interview, Yoshida cited historical accuracy for the lack of diversity within the game. As part of his response, he stated:

“Our design concept from the earliest stages of development has always heavily featured medieval Europe, incorporating historical, cultural, political, and anthropological standards that were prevalent at the time. […] Ultimately, we felt that while incorporating ethnic diversity into Valisthea was important, an over-incorporation into this single corner of a much larger world could end up causing a violation of those narrative boundaries we originally set for ourselves. The story we are telling is Fantasy, but it is also rooted in reality.”

As expected, this response did little to mitigate the voices of those concerned about the issue of diversity. As always, you had two vastly different viewpoints. Many believe that you should refrain from turning to Medieval Fantasy made by Japanese people for diversity. While inclusion is essential, we need to understand that it can’t happen everywhere. Others pushed back, stating that the game was based on Fantasy, not reality. You can have magic, elves, and dragons, but black people are a step too far. This is a ridiculous argument, and game developers need to do more.

Is There Final Fantasy Related Boycotts Happening

Although most people are incredibly excited to play Final Fantasy 16, some within the media are working hard to discredit this game. The original projections for this game could have looked better. Square Enix deemed them disappointing. However, the low estimates contradict the calls for boycotts over diversity issues. Additionally, as we approach the release date for the game, pre-orders are starting to climb. Despite this, a few outlets claim that many people choose not to pick up the game due to issues about inclusion.

Final Fantasy 16
Final Fantasy 16

I would source some of those outlets here, but I do not want to give them additional attention. However, if you follow along with gaming news, you likely know the guilty parties who cover these issues. These outlets do not play games themselves. Often, it feels like they hate the gaming community. However, they include themselves in the conversation, getting review copies early. Their reviews never involve actual information about the game, but instead, they preach about some social or political issue. Those are the types of outlets that are calling for a gaming boycott.

Although a few people are unhappy with the game, most agree that playing is fun. Whatever boycott some are concocting will not go anywhere. Final Fantasy 16 is not a perfect game, but it sometimes gets close. Fans have fun playing it, which won’t go away. You will always have a few people who disagree with something and turn it into something more prominent, but that won’t work here. Most people are tired of all the politics in video games. They want to lay back and enjoy something fun. You are at the right place if that is what you want.

Will Square Enix Fold

Right now, companies have much social pressure to be more progressive. Many companies have made massive changes to their games to be more inclusive. This is a good thing. Everyone wants to feel included, and representation is essential. Some people love seeing a reflection of themselves in a video game, and thus, many developers try to be as inclusive as possible. However, you cannot force companies to comply with your worldview. If Final Fantasy says they want an accurate depiction of a specific historical era, they have the right to do so.

Square Enix Release Final Fantasy 16
Square Enix Release Final Fantasy 16

There are certain times when companies can do more to showcase inclusivity. There are also other times when we need to understand that inclusivity is not the goal. We won’t be looking for diversity in 7th-century Scotland, just like we won’t be doing so in certain parts of Africa. Forcing that into your entertainment will not end well. With that said, many companies are changing how they represent themselves. Recently, Capcom came under fire for their new ESG policy. This policy includes the West having significantly more influence over creative choices within the game.

Usually, Capcom will develop and allow the West to dub their games into English from the original Japanese version. Now, they will allow more input from the West to drive more inclusivity. Many feel that this is just another way to force censorship. Gamers flock to Japanese entertainment because they do not like what the West has become. Japan still largely ignores all the social and political noise in many ways. With these changes, that will no longer be the case. It is only a matter of time before we see companies like Square Enix also fold.


We must ask ourselves whether these developers changing their games is good or bad. Most likely agree that inclusivity and representation are net positive for the space. However, pushing specific messages down your throat might not be. People are willing to accept many things but do not want to be preached to while playing a game. At least most of the time. Ultimately, we will have to wait and see what is next for video games. There is still plenty to look forward to.

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4 thoughts on “The Final Fantasy 16 “Lack Of Diversity” Bait”
  1. […] Final Fantasy 16 is officially out, and thus far, people are enjoying the game. Unfortunately, in today’s deeply divided climate, simply enjoying a game can no longer be tolerated. Every piece of entertainment needs a theme, message, and a solid political stance. In addition, you better be ready to represent every group in existence. If you do not comply, you will be destroyed. At least, this is what the media is trying to do. Sadly, they simply no longer have the influence they once had. Final Fantasy 16, by this point, has been accused of about every terrible thing you can think of. […]

  2. […] The mass backlash against Skullgirls continues as fans take to the internet to voice their displeasure. To say that this game is currently falling on hard times would be an understatement. It is often said that we do not fix that which is not broken. If companies listen more to cliches like this, they would be in a far better place. Sadly, we live in an era where everyone is falling over each other to showcase how stunning and brave they are. In their quest for complete awakeness, often, many lose themselves on the road to wokeness. […]

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