Final Fantasy 16 Making Major Change to the Series

Square Enix has confirmed a major change being made to the series with Final Fantasy 16. Between the first game in the series to the most recent mainline entry, Final Fantasy 15, every entry in the series has been rated "Teen." Why this is, we don't know, but it's likely a hangover from yesteryear when publishers and developers tried to avoid "Mature" ratings because it was believed it negatively impacted sales. Whether this was true or not, is up for debate, but apparently, Square Enix isn't very worried about it anymore as Final Fantasy 16 looks poised to have a "Mature" rating when it releases, according to the publisher. 

Square Enix has previously said that Final Fantasy 16 is going to be darker and grittier than previous entries, so it's not surprising to hear this has made the Teen rating not an option. What exactly will contribute to this Mature rating though, remains to be seen.

"In the early stages of development, we decided that we wouldn't tell a juvenile story," said Hiroshi Takai, the game's director, while speaking to IGN about the game's potential Mature rating. "Some of the major considerations were the age range of the players we expect to form our core audience, and also that we have an increased capability to portray things, in several meanings of the word. You say it's a more 'violent' direction – but the key point here is that we didn't want to just make things more extreme, we wanted to show things more realistically and naturally. The world of Final Fantasy XVI is wracked by endless wars between nations, so we inevitably had to include scenes of battle. And if a character doesn't have any blood splatter on them after slashing someone with a sword, that ends up looking unnatural with modern graphical capabilities – which creates an even stronger sense of dissonance. I'm sure the series will continue to butt up against this question of depicting things realistically and naturally in the future as well."

For now, the mature rating hasn't been locked in because the game hasn't been rated for release yet, however, as you can see Square Enix is preparing to get a Mature rating.

Final Fantasy 16 is set to release worldwide sometime during summer 2023 exclusively via the PS5. Below, you can read more about the upcoming PS5 exclusive, courtesy of an official story synopsis straight from Square Enix:

"Final Fantasy XVI brings players into a world where Eikons are powerful and deadly creatures that reside within Dominants-a single man or woman who is blessed with the ability to call upon their dreaded power. The story follows Clive Rosfield, a young man dedicated to mastering the blade, who is dubbed the First Shield of Rosaria and tasked to guard his younger brother Joshua-the Dominant of the Phoenix. Unexpected events set Clive on a dark and dangerous road to revenge."