Final Fantasy XVI: accused of racism, Square Enix returns to the lack of diversity in the next opus

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The trailers for the upcoming game Final Fantasy 16 have been making a lot of noise. For good, for bad. If some welcome the direction of anchoring the game in a dark medieval fantasy universe, others regret the lack of diversity. blatant of it. A choice that the game team clumsily justified.

Final Fantasy XVI: accused of racism, Square Enix returns to the lack of diversity in the next opus

Final Fantasy 16: first controversy for lack of inclusivity

< p>During a major interview at a grave; the press and during an interview with our colleagues from IGN, several officials, including creator Hiroshi Takai, producer Naoki Yoshida and localization manager Michael-Christopher Koji Fox answered questions from reporters. Following the latest “Ambition” trailer, some fans complained about the lack of diversity. in the game, whether in terms of portraying people of color or women. The team expected this question, and here is Naoki Yoshida's answer:

This is a difficult question, but not unexpected, because the diversity in entertainment has become a hotly debated topic. lately. The answer I have to giving, however, may end up disappointing some. From the earliest stages of development, our concept was to bring medieval Europe to the fore, incorporating the historical, cultural, political and anthropological norms that prevailed at the time. When we have chosen the most suitable framework; -the story of a country beset by the Scourge-, we estimated that rather than creating something to on a global scale, it was necessary to limit its scope to a continental mass, geographically and culturally isolated from the rest of the world, a time when planes, television and telephone did not exist. Final Fantasy XVI is an entire planet that can be visited. The isolated nature of the Kingdom of Valisthea plays an important role in the story. In the end, we estimated that it was important to incorporate diversity; in the territory, but that excessive incorporation into this one corner of a much larger world could lead to a violation of the narrative boundaries we had set ourselves to. the origin. The story we tell is certainly fantastic, but it is also grounded in reality. 

Final Fantasy XVI: accused of racism, Square Enix returns to the lack of diversity in the next opus

This answer, although very detailed, does not satisfy everyone. “Why would a medieval world be unrealistic with people of color but realistic with dragons and catwomen?” are answers that one regularly seen among angry people on social media. Some even point out that several of the elements of the game, such as buildings or clothing, come from African or sub-Saharan cultures, and that it then becomes silly not to include their populations. respective. À to this, producer Naoki Yoshida adds that it is difficult to attribute skin colors to; characters from fictional nations without some seeing an indirect reading of their reality; :

In a game that by design allows players to experience conflict and struggle through dynamic and realistic battles, it can be difficult to attribute distinct ethnicities to each other; the antagonist or the protagonist without triggering the preconçideas of the public, invite unwarranted speculation and ultimately, stir up controversy. The advantage of drawing directly from history is that it allows us to revisit and re-examine our own past, while allowing us to create something new. Ultimately, we just want the focus to be less on how our characters look and more on who they are as people. People whose history can touch us. There is diversity in Valisthea. A diversity which, without being exhaustive, is in synergy with the framework we have created. and is faithful to the inspirations we feed on.

And you, what do you think of this pole? mic and of these declarations? Do not hesitate to tell us in the comments section.