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Final Fantasy XVI Game Banned in Saudi Arabia

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Game launches for PS5 on June 22

Saudi Arabia's General Commission for Audiovisual Media announced on Wednesday that the government's Ministry of Media has not approved Square Enix's Final Fantasy XVI role-playing game for release in Saudi Arabia. The government agency did not provide a reason for the ban, but added that Square Enix was "unwilling to make the necessary modifications."

The ESRB has rated the game "Mature," describing the game's levels of violence — which include blood splatter, maiming, dismemberment, impaling, and torture — as well as sexual or otherwise suggestive content, including 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 (previously the Ministry of Culture and Information) frequently bars games that do not meet the agency's standards for media from release in the country.

The game will launch on June 22 for PlayStation 5 as a PlayStation console exclusive until December 31. While an initial livestreamed trailer had listed a PC release, trailers and the game's website do not list a PC version.

Square Enix's Creative Business Unit III division is developing the game. Naoki Yoshida (Final Fantasy XIV) is producing Final Fantasy XVI, and Hiroshi Takai (Final Fantasy XIV) is directing the game.

Source: General Commission for Audiovisual Media official Twitter account, ESRB via Siliconera

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