The Final Fantasy XVI Video Game Has Been Forbid in Saudi Arabia

The General Commission for Audiovisual Media in Saudi Arabia declared on Wednesday that the government’s Ministry of Media has not cleared the publication of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XVI role-playing game in Saudi Arabia. The government agency did not explain why the ban was imposed, but stated that Square Enix was “unwilling to make the necessary modifications.”

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The ESRB rated the game “Mature,” citing blood splatter, maiming, dismemberment, impaling, and torture, as well as sexual or otherwise suggestive content, such as the presence of brothels, a character “caressing and straddling a man in bed,” and incidental and character dialogue referencing prostitution.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media (formerly the Ministry of Culture and Information) routinely prohibits the publication of games that do not fit the agency’s media standards. 

The game will be available for PlayStation 5 on June 22 as a PlayStation console exclusive until December 31. While an initial livestreamed trailer indicated a PC release, subsequent trailers and the game’s website do not. The game is being developed by Square Enix’s Creative Business Unit III branch. Final Fantasy XVI is produced by Naoki Yoshida and directed by Hiroshi Takai.


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