The director explains the lack of black characters, but he is opposed by the super shock artist

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Final Fantasy XVI is everyone’s most anticipated next-gen title. But even with its global appeal, Square Enix’s game has drawn attention in its trailers for not bothering to represent the ethnic diversity that gamers around the world have come to expect. The director in an interview with IGN Naoki Yoshida commented on the lack of black characters in the game.

Why are there no black characters in Final Fantasy XVI?

Yoshida confirmed to the website that he was aware of the problem and the importance that diversity takes on in discussions about the entertainment industry as a whole. To justify the team’s artistic decision, the developer used the argument of “historical accuracy”, even if the story took place in a fictional world.

“From the earliest stages of development, our design concept has always encompassed medieval Europe, incorporating historical, cultural, political and anthropological patterns prevalent at the time. When we decided which setting suited the story we wanted to tell. The director explains “We felt that instead of creating something global, we needed to limit the scope to one area – geographically and culturally isolated from the rest of the world in an age without airplanes, television or telephones.”

The absence of black characters affects recent Japanese Square Enix titles such as Octopath Traveler II and Star Ocean.

Game of Thrones inspiration

The explanation follows the same lines used by other very popular medieval productions in Western culture, such as Game of Thrones and The Witcher. The localization director asked the journalist Michael-Christopher Codge Fox He confirmed the inspiration in these works, which he considered inevitable.

“There are a lot of Game of Thrones fans on the development team, so you’ll find some similarities in the story and character designs.” comment.

However, the lack of representation of these works only reflects the moment in which they were produced, when diversity was not so widely discussed in the media. Game of Thrones recent spinoff House of the Dragon and TV series live action Netflix’s The Witcher highlights the inclusion of several black characters, showing a new industry trend in this discussion.

A Super Shock contributor answers

The artist and co-writer of Super Shock, who is a fan of the franchise, couldn’t keep quiet when he heard this justification.

Yoshida’s lines were echoed and dismissed on social media Nicholas Draper-Ivy, artist and co-writer of the ongoing Super Shock comic. In addition to revealing that he already had ideas for a Final Fantasy game focused entirely on black culture, with similar oryxes. summonsNicholas provided a quick solution to the inclusion of black characters without compromising the sacred “historical accuracy” the team so closely guarded.

“I’m shocked that they didn’t even think of putting a single design based on the Moors into a Final Fantasy game. When I look at some of the works [Yoshitaka] Amano, just shout it to me” points.

The Moors the artist cites consisted of a group of medieval black merchants and mercenaries known for dominating the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain) for many years. Thus, the non-inclusion of black characters cannot be said to prove historical accuracy in any medieval fantasy. It remains to be hoped that the makers of the entertainment industry are doing their homework properly.

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