Some Final Fantasy players have revealed they plan to boycott Final Fantasy 16 due to the development team’s “continuously questionable response” to the lack of diversity in the game.
Last November, producer Naoki Yoshida addressed the lack of diversity in an interview, and the response did little to assuage the concerns of Black and minority ethnic players.
In direct response to this, some players are now planning to “boycott Final Fantasy 16 due to the lack of diversity and minority characters”.
“So despite notable criticism and backlash online regarding the lack of diversity in the game, and square’s continuously questionable response to the topic, it seems a lot of people are still planning to purchase FF16,” began one poster, adding a poll to collate commenters’ views.
“This feels…a little odd to me, because it would seem like the best way to send a message to Square would be to ‘vote with your wallet’ per say [sic], and not purchase the game given these concerns?
“Therefore […] I was specifically wondering if anyone was going to take a stand, and not purchase or boycott FF16 due to these issues?”
“I am. It’s not particularly difficult either, given just how many games there are to play. It won’t move the needle, but it’ll make me feel better about my purchases,” said one commenter, whilst another added: “I’m not buying it. To be completely honest, knowing that Starfield and Dragon’s Dogma are coming with black characters and black character creation make it really easy to skip FFXVI. Forspoken is mediocre, but Frey being a good character helps a bit. I’m good.”
However, at the time of writing, over 1200 players have responded to the poll, but just 2.9 per cent – that’s around 40 people – are intending to intentionally boycott the release, with 72.8 per cent still committed to buying it despite the issues.
24.3 per cent of those polled didn’t plan on picking up Final Fantasy 16 at all.
“No. If I boycotted games due to lack of diversity in terms of characters that looked like me, I wouldn’t have sh*t to play outside of a few indies at best to put it very bluntly,” explained one fan. “Rep for black women in gaming is abysmal across the board, and I would say it’s even worse for south asian woman, south american women, etc, etc.
“Since the very first time I started playing games before the age of five, I played games based on if they are fun or not. 30 some years later, this has not changed,” added another. “Coming from a black person. If you want to boycott, go for it. I’m there day one.”
PSA: Copies of Final Fantasy 16 are now out in the wild ahead of its release next week, so be aware of potential spoilers.