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Final Fantasy XVI may be series’ first mainline game with a mature rating

Final Fantasy XVI may be the first entry in the mainline Final Fantasy series to get a Mature rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. At least, that’s what series producer Naoki Yoshida (aka Yoshi-P) is aiming for.

In an interview with GameSpot, Yoshida responded to the question about the implied nudity in the trailer shown during Sony’s recent State of Play showcase. He noted that Square Enix is not trying to secure an M-rating for the sake of making Final Fantasy XVI more violent or explicit than previous entries, but rather he deems the game getting a higher age rating as necessary to be able to weave mature themes into the story. Although he acknowledged game ratings are in place to protect younger gamers from age-inappropriate material, he lamented that those ratings are becoming too restrictive with what can or can’t be shown on screen.

“You find yourself changing things that you wanted to do in the game based on that rating,” Yoshida said. “You wanted to show something, but because you have this certain rating that you need to go to — you need to move the camera away. And that ends up making the entire experience feel a little bit cheaper.”

Throughout the franchise’s history, the ratings for Final Fantasy games ranged between E (Everyone) to T (Teen). Only a few spinoff games have ever received the M-rating, with the latest being Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. We wouldn’t have gotten the iconic scene of Jack Garland shouting “Bullshit!” otherwise. Final Fantasy Type-0, which came out on PSP in 2011 as a Japanese-exclusive before branching out to the rest of the world in 2015, was given an M-rating because it showed more blood than other Final Fantasy games.

A European newsletter already noted that Final Fantasy XVI was aiming for a PEGI 18 rating soon after the game was announced last year. Seeing as that is equivalent to an M-rating in the U.S., Yoshida’s statements about pursuing that rating for the game make sense.

Final Fantasy XVI is slated to release in summer 2023.

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