Saudi Arabia’s General Commission for Audiovisual Media recently took to Twitter to state that Final Fantasy 16 had not been approved for release in the country, and has been banned due to “the publisher’s unwillingness to make the necessary modifications.” Additionally, the board’s general supervisor for video games, Hattan Tawili, also recently tweeted about an upcoming game believed to be Final Fantasy 16.
“Unfortunately, after all our attempts over the past eight months without any success, one of the most important and biggest games of the year is on its way to being banned due to the company’s complete refusal to modify the content to suit the region. Of course, it is clear to the company what happened, but they put it in abundance without reason and refuse to modify it.”
The specific reason for the ban was not officially disclosed, but three writers for the Saudi website TrueGaming posted tweets implying an upcoming game had LGBTQ+ content. If the game in question was Fantasy 16, the reason for the ban would make sense for the country. Final Fantasy 16 will launch on June 22 for PlayStation 5. The game 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.”
لمحبي لعبة #FinalFantasyXIV، نود التوضيح بأنها لم تفسح بالمملكة، وذلك بسبب عدم رغبة الناشر بإجراء التعديلات اللازمة.
الهيئة العامة للإعلام #المرئي_والمسموع #تصنيف_الألعاب pic.twitter.com/5OuWZJGEvX
— التصنيف العمري للألعاب الإلكترونية (@VGAR_SA) May 3, 2023
The game’s details via Square Enix can be seen below:
Final Fantasy 16 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.
Valisthea—A Land Blessed in the Light of the Mothercrystals – The land of Valisthea is studded with Mothercrystals—glittering mountains of crystal that tower over the realms around them, blessing them with aether. For generations, people have flocked to these beacons to take advantage of their blessing, using the aether to conjure magicks that let them live lives of comfort and plenty. Great powers have grown up around each Mothercrystal, and an uneasy peace has long reigned between them. Yet now the peace falters as the spread of the Blight threatens to destroy their dominions.
Eikons and Their Dominants – The Eikons are the most powerful and deadly creatures in Valisthea. Each resides within a Dominant—a single man or woman who is blessed with the ability to call upon their dread power. In some nations these Dominants are treated as royalty in admiration of this strength—in others they are bound in fear of it, and forced to serve as weapons of war. Those who are born as Dominants cannot escape their fate, however cruel it may be.
The Realms of Valisthea
The Grand Duchy of Rosaria – Long ago, a group of small independent provinces in western Valisthea found strength in unity, and formed the Grand Duchy of Rosaria. After years of relative prosperity, the duchy now finds itself threatened by the spread of the Blight—a threat that, left unchecked, would doubtless usher the realm to ruin. Rosaria draws its aether from Drake’s Breath, a Mothercrystal situated on a volcanic island off the coast. The Dominant of the Phoenix, Eikon of Fire, is enthroned as Archduke when they come of age.
The Holy Empire of Sanbreque – Sanbreque is the largest theocratic force in Valisthea. The Empire’s holy capital Oriflamme is built around Drake’s Head, the Mothercrystal that blesses the surrounding provinces with abundant aether. The people happily take advantage of this, living in comfort and security under the watchful gaze of the Holy Emperor, whom they worship as the living incarnation of the one true deity. The Dominant of serves as the empire’s champion, taking to the field in times of war to rout its enemies.
The Kingdom of Waloed – Waloed claims the entirety of Ash, the eastern half of Valisthea, as its dominion. The kingdom’s control of the continent has oft been tested by the orcs and other beastmen who make their home there, but the current ruler of the realm—Dominant of—has succeeded in quelling their rebellions. Using the power of the kingdom’s Mothercrystal, Drake’s Spine, this new king has built up a mighty army, with which he now seeks to test the borders of his neighbors.
The Dhalmekian Republic – The Dhalmekian Republic is made up of five states, from which the members of its ruling parliament are drawn. Its Mothercrystal, Drake’s Fang, is half-hidden in the heart of a mountain range—the republic’s control over it, and its aether, securing the obedience of the large part of southern Valisthea. The Dominant of Titan, Eikon of Earth, is installed as a special advisor to parliament and has a significant say in its decision-making.
The Iron Kingdom – A small group of islands off the coast of Storm, the western half of Valisthea’s twin realms. Here the Crystalline Orthodox, an extreme faith that worships crystals, reigns supreme. The Iron Kingdom controls Drake’s Breath, the Mothercrystal that sits at the heart of one of their islands—long a source of contention with neighboring Rosaria. Isolated and aloof from the mainland nations, the Ironblood speak their own language. Orthodox doctrine judges Dominants to be unholy abominations, and any unlucky enough to be born on the islands are executed.
The Crystalline Dominion – The Crystalline Dominion sits at the heart of Valisthea, built around the tallest of all the Mothercrystals, Drake’s Tail. Many bloody battles were fought for control of this small plot of land due to its strategic importance, till the warring realms finally agreed to an armistice. As part of the peace treaty, the islands around Drake’s Tail became an autonomous dominion led by a council of representatives from the surrounding nations—each realm enjoying equal claim to the Mothercrystal’s blessing. No Dominant makes their home there.
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