Final Fantasy 14 is redesigning the logo of the new job sage after fans reported feeling "uncomfortable or fearful" when viewing it.
Final Fantasy 14's producer and director Naoki Yoshida explained why the team decided to make the change via an official statement posted on the game's official website (opens in new tab).
It explains that the original icon triggered some players' trypophobia – an irrational fear of holes. Like many phobias, its severity differs from person to person, but it can be acutely distressing for some with severe reactions.
"When we released new details for sage and reaper on the special site, we also included their icons, not thinking that they were particularly big reveals," Yoshida says. "However, we soon received feedback from players all over the world, who told us that the sage icon made them uncomfortable or fearful.
"This aversion is known as trypophobia, and those who have it feel disgust and fear when they see clusters of small holes or bumps," Yoshida explained (thanks, PC Gamer (opens in new tab)). "The severity of the reaction varies between people, and what triggers it in some may not do so in others.
"But regardless of such differences, you have given us your earnest feedback, and there's still time to change things," the post concludes. "Considering also the fact that job icons are prominently visible in the game, and that they also appear on merchandise, we've made the decision to redesign the sage icon."
The new icon (opens in new tab) (it should be okay to click if you have trypophobia!) does away with all but one hole, hopefully making it less distressing for some players.
"The design concept is unchanged, with the icon being based on the four nouliths which form the sage's armament," Yoshida concludes. "The holes in the original design were added for detail, but they ended up appearing as a cluster. To address the problem, the new icon reduces the holes while accentuating the design concept.
"Now, comparisons will inevitably be made, and some of you may prefer the original. But we believe that designs like this are things that grow on you as you play the job, and ask for your understanding as we head into Endwalker."
ICYMI, Final Fantasy 14 is currently in the midst of a resurgence in popularity, proving so desirable that even the Square Enix storefront ran out of online PC stock (opens in new tab) and setting a brand-new all-time peak concurrent record of 67,019 players – not bad for an eight-year-old MMO, eh?
If you're new to Final Fantasy 14, there's not long to go now before Endwalker drops. Set to release on November 23 (opens in new tab), it's being described as the "final chapter in the tale of this star", bringing the plotline of past expansions A Realm Reborn, Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers to its conclusion.
Find out if Final Fantasy 14 makes it on our round-up of the best MMORPG titles to play in 2021 (opens in new tab).