"We felt it was necessary to allow us to explore those more mature themes that the game tackles," says producer Naoki Yoshida.
A recent round of developer interviews has revealed a great many more new details on the highly anticipated Final Fantasy 16, from Eikon battles and abilities to AI-controlled party members and how its world is going to be structured. Something else we’ve learned is the fact that Final Fantasy 16 is going to be a much more mature game in tone than series fans will be used to.
Speaking with GameSpot, producer Naoki Yoshida explained that in order to be able to properly tell the story they wanted to tell, and tell it the way they wanted to tell it, Final Fantasy 16’s development team decided not to place limitations on themselves by going for a “Teen” or “Everyone” rating like most Final Fantasy games do, and instead decided to aim for a “Mature” rating.
“When trying to tell a story with difficult adult themes, these ratings can end up becoming somewhat of a hindrance,” Yoshida said. “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 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. And so, this time, to make sure that we could tell the story that we wanted in the way that we wanted to, we decided to pursue a mature rating in most of the regions that will be releasing the game. But again, this is not because we simply wanted to make the game more violent or the game more explicit, this is because we felt it was necessary to allow us to explore those more mature themes that the game tackles.”
This is significant particularly because this means Final Fantasy 16 will end up becoming the first mainline numbered game in the series to receive a “Mature” rating, which should indicate a darker and grittier tone for the game than previous mainline numbered entries.
Even beyond the scope of numbered entries, Final Fantasy has very rarely had games with Mature ratings, with there being very few examples on that front, including the likes of Final Fantasy Type-0 and Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin.
Final Fantasy 16 is due out for the PS5 in Summer 2023. A new trailer will arrive for the game this Fall, along with further details on its story and world.