Final Fantasy XVI won’t be available for PlayStation 5 owners residing in Saudi Arabia come June 22 because Square Enix’s highly anticipated action-RPG has been banned there for some currently vague reasons.
Last December, Brazil’s ESRB-equivalent rating for FFXVI revealed that the upcoming Game of Thrones-esque action-RPG is rated mature for its sex scenes, drug use, torture scenes, and depictions of prostitution and hate crimes. That last one has me trying to figure out who’s getting hate crime’d in ye olde Final Fantasy and how bad is it gonna get to warrant a mature rating? (It’s not Black people—we’re not in the game, as Producer Naoki Yoshida has awkwardly tried to explain.) Are we talking about a brutal Moogle uprising? (Please tell me that the Viera are involved somehow.) I’ve gotta know, SquareE. Whatever the case, it now seems Saudi Arabia’s found something to object to as well.
According to an official statement by the kingdom’s Public Authority for Media (translated on ResetEra), FFXVI will not be released in Saudi Arabia “due to the publisher’s unwillingness to make the necessary modifications” to the game. Although the post never specified exactly what modifications Square Enix refused to make, folks on the gaming forum speculate that it might have something to do with a same-sex couple in the game.
Kotaku reached out to Square Enix for comment.
Read More: Final Fantasy XVI Dev Has A Terrible Answer For Why The Game Is So White
According to FFXVI’s ERSB rating summary, the game will include:
...a character caressing and straddling a man in bed; references to prostitution—sexual moaning sounds in a brothel; dialogue such as, “I’d be happy to show you…provided I can afford it” and “…thank you for your service. My chamber is just upstairs.” Some characters are depicted with partially exposed breasts and buttocks. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the game.
If Square Enix refused to compromise on a scene where, let’s say, a dude gives his best bro a supportive thigh massage before assuming the position of a service top, we might have an early game of the year contender on our hands, folks. My delusional wishes aside, the rest of FFXVI’s rating summary is filled with the usual affair of fantasy violence against trolls and orcs with lightning and fireballs and the occasional slit throat of a guard by a knife who probably deserved it. We’ll just have to wait to hear what exactly is causing a problem for the game’s Saudi Arabian release.