Final Fantasy 16 has been banned in one country

Cassidy Stephenson

Saudi Arabia has banned the release of Final Fantasy 16 in the Middle Eastern country.

Unlike other entries in the Final Fantasy franchise, the upcoming game will have a mature rating. It’s undetermined what specific content deserved an M-rating by the ESRB, but violence and language likely played a factor.

Previously, Saudi Arabia prohibited video games like the God of War series and Grand Theft Auto for their adult themes. Now, the highly-censored country has decided to ban Final Fantasy 16 before its launch on June 22, 2023.

Saudi Arabia has prevented the release of Final Fantasy 16

An image of official Final Fantasy XVI artwork.
Final Fantasy XVI is one of the most highly anticipated upcoming JRPGs of 2023.

On Twitter, CEO of Aitai Japan aitakimochi revealed that Saudi Arabia’s Public Authority for Audiovisual Media had prevented the release of Final Fantasy 16. The announcement explained the country had boycotted the game due to the publisher’s “unwillingness to make necessary changes.”

One Twitter user suggested one of Final Fantasy 16’s characters was gay – which may have led to Saudi Arabia’s ban. Additionally, Super_HunTTer claimed Saudi Arabia had asked Square Enix to remove one or two short scenes – but the video game company refused.

Despite Final Fantasy 16’s mature rating, producer Naoki Yoshida discussed changing the combat system for a younger audience.

“For the past decade or so, I’ve seen quite a number of opinions saying, ‘I don’t understand the attraction of selecting commands in video games,'” Yoshida said. “This opinion is only increasing, particularly with younger audiences who do not typically play RPGs.”

Most Final Fantasy games feature a turn-based combat system. However, FFXVI has employed a more action-based strategy to remove the need for command systems.

Ahead of Final Fantasy 16’s release date, scalpers have priced Collector’s Editions on eBay for up to $900. The cost is around three times the standard asking price. Would you really pay that much for a Collector’s Edition?

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