Final Fantasy 16 banned in Saudi Arabia due to reported refusal to make content changes

Final Fantasy 16's Clive looks bashfully at Jill, who is off screen
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 16 has been banned from releasing in Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday on May 3, the Saudi Arabian General Commission for Audiovisual Media Twitter account announced that Final Fantasy 16 had not been cleared to launch in the country. In short, this means the Square Enix RPG won't be releasing in the country for the foreseeable future, until both Saudi Arabia and Square Enix can come to some sort of agreement.

That tweet (translated via Google and Systrans) alleges that Square Enix was unwilling to make "necessary adjustments" or "modifications" to the game. That sentiment appears to have also been stated by the GCAM's general supervisor of video games, Hattan Tawili, who tweeted yesterday (also translated via Google and Systrans) that "one of the most important and biggest games of the year" would be banned "due to the company's complete refusal to modify the content to suit the region."

Right now though, it's not clear what changes Saudi Arabia supposedly requested of Square Enix in order to release Final Fantasy 16 in the country, and how the game would be altered as a result.

Saudi Arabia has been pretty active in recent years when it comes to banning certain media from launching. Last year, Pixar's Lightyear was banned due to a same-sex kiss, and before that, Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was prohibited from launch. It could be that Final Fantasy 16 features similar material to the two movies.

Elsewhere last year, Saudi Arabia was the first country to approve Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The attempted acquisition now faces its biggest roadblock yet from a UK government agency, who ruled against Microsoft's acquisition last month due to the possibility that it could create less competition in gaming and cloud spaces for gamers.

Check out our Final Fantasy 16 pre-order guide if you're looking to get your hands on any of the special editions of the game before launch on June 22.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.

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