Naoki Yoshida (also known as Yoshi-P), producer of Final Fantasy XVI, has addressed concerns from the media about their concerns over the diversity in Final Fantasy XVI. The media questioned whether the game would have black characters or characters that weren’t white to which Yoshida-san claimed that Final Fantasy XVI is set in medieval Europe, which placed certain constraints on the characters that could “realistically” be included in the game.

Yoshida-san said that the team incorporated “historical, cultural, political, and anthropological standards that were prevalent at the time” in Europe and that the game could be as diverse as the real world or even other Final Fantasy games. Whilst Yoshida-san would like to incorporate ethnic diversity in this world he felt that it could have ultimately have infringed on the narrative boundaries. When addressing the criticism that the game is a fantasy game, Yoshida-san stated “The story we are telling is fantasy, yes, but it is also rooted in reality.”

Yoshida-san also said that he understands this response may be disappointing but that he’d like for the “focus to be less on the outward appearance of our characters and more on who they are as people”. Yoshida-san also went on to explain that the characters in the game are diverse in the way they think, their background and their motivations. Yoshida-san also revealed that Valisthea is a single landmass and that it is “geographically and culturally isolated from the rest of the world in an age without airplanes, television, or telephones”.

Yoshida-san’s response has led to a vocal minority on Twitter, most of whom are white, calling both him and Square Enix racist. It’s worth noting that Yoshida-san is Asian and that Final Fantasy XVI has no Asian, Black or Hispanic characters either.

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