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Final Fantasy XVI's Naoki Yoshida revisits his answer to cast diversity question

Its world is based on cultures "from all around the world", he says

After trailers for Final Fantasy 16 were released last year, some questions were asked about its predominantly white cast. Those questions were answered by producer Naoki Yoshida in a fashion he correctly predicted would be "disappointing to some".

Yoshida has now revisited the question during the latest round of Final Fantasy 16 press.

GamesRadar+ asked if he wanted to revisit his earlier comments.

"What I would like to take this opportunity to say is: we have created the world of Valisthea and the story of FF16 with a great deal of research and investigation into various cultures and value systems from all around the world and have woven them into the sweeping fantasy narrative and world with great respect and care," responded Yoshida. "I would ask players to experience FF16 and see with their own eyes the diverse range of values we have included in the creation of the game."

Yoshida also said that "people all have their own thoughts on the scope and their understanding of the term 'diversity'," which he does not see as a negative, while reportedly acknowledging that there will be different interpretations of their approach to the game.

When asked by IGN about FF16's predominantly white, Euro-centric cast last year, Yoshida had said that the game was based on their research into medieval Europe, and incorporated "historical, cultural, political, and anthropological standards that were prevalent at the time." That answer was disappointing to many for several reasons, because fantasy games about crystals need not cling to realism, because medieval Europe was more diverse and strange than most media inspired by it depicts, and because medieval Europe has already been mined ad nauseam by every other fantasy world. Also because, more fundamentally, a non-white audience long to see themselves depicted in the games they play, Final Fantasy included.

The new answer is better, I think, if only for being simpler. "Various cultures and value systems from all around the world" is also a lot more interesting than 'it's medieval Europe again.' I hope Final Fantasy XVI does something great with the cast it does have.

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Graham Smith avatar

Graham Smith


Graham used to be to blame for all this.

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