Final Fantasy XV's director says the women will serve as more than just "love interests"

In a recent interview, Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata addressed concerns about the male-dominated party

Final Fantasy XV has had a lot of tongues wagging in the past year. But as is often the case, major changes to a popular series are often accompanied by criticism. While many fans are worried about the changes to the combat mechanics, others have voiced their concerns about the lack of female representation in the all-male party.

Game director Hajime Tabata addressed a few of these issues in a recent interview with The Examiner, and said that the party would encounter various women during the course of their adventure, serving as both friends and foes.

"There are quite a lot of female characters the guys will meet along the road they take and they really enhance the story, and perform a lot of different roles in the story, not just as love interests but other ways as the story progresses."

The issue of representation has been at the forefront of gaming discussion for some time now. Although there has been a large effort on the part of developers to be more inclusive, many people are still not satisfied that enough is being done to make people believe that gaming is for everyone. At the same time, others have stated that they are happy for games to be more inclusive, but that developers shouldn't be forced to include various demographics if it means deviating from the story that they originally had in mind in order to appease everybody.

While it's unclear what went into the decision for the all-male cast in FFXV, only time will tell whether or not the female representation in the game will be enough for fans. 

How do you feel about the all-male party in Final Fantasy XV? Should the developers have made more of an effort to be inclusive, or are you happy that they stuck to their original ideas for the game?

Published Jan. 6th 2016
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  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    For a series that has a had a pretty diverse and varied cast to date, I am sure they have good reasons for their decisions.
    Kudos to going with their original design and not catering to a crowd to boot.
  • Jay Ricciardi
    "I am sure they have good reasons for their decisions." certainly has less of an air of authority after Lightning Returns.
  • shox_reboot
    More of an effort to be inclusive or stick to their original idea? Latter of course. This debate about games having to be more inclusive for all genders, sexual orientations, body types, blah blah blah needs to take second priority if it's going to interfere with the original idea the developer has.

    For this game I can understand why there's an all male cast considering how similar the setting is to the Yakuza.

    That being said a female shouldn't exist in a game simply to serve as a love interest. It shouldn't even be something that needs to be stated.
  • Jay Ricciardi
    I do find it disconcerting that they feel the need to clarify this. To use the John Oliver example, it's like putting the words "100% legal" on a frozen yogurt - it's fishy that it's there at all. I'm not convinced by this statement purely because it exists.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    Well, Final Fantasy has been known for including female protagonists since the original game - albeit silent ones, seeing as none of the characters had an actual personality. For them to make an all-male cast is out of character, but I'm sure they have their reasons. Do I think that this is a step backwards? Not really. I mean, that's like saying an author is a misogynist for writing nothing but female characters, but then deciding to write a "boy's adventure" type story.

    On a personal note, I always prefer that a developer, author, or director always sticks to their original plans. Too much pandering in the world nowadays.
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    Agreed. Well-spoken.
  • Jay Ricciardi
    I think people are throwing the word 'pandering' around far too much. Making choices that please fans and generate sales is how this industry works - that's how sequels happen, and this franchise is on the 15th core game. I'm sure there are plenty of other IP ideas besides Final Fantasy that this company would like to play with, but they know that another FF will sell because that's what the fans demand.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    While I agree that the word 'pandering' has been thrown around loosely, I feel as though it is fitting in this situation. If people are in a rush to get up in arms about a male cast, then the standard should apply to all other possible patterns. In this situation it seems to me that they're setting up a world where the military is primarily (if not completely) male - at least from what I understand about this game so far. To change it for the sake of getting a PR star with those who take issue with it would be - by definition - pandering to the crowd, and clearly the people who actually play this game (from what I've seen in various threads) don't actually care at all.

    Frankly, I'm getting sick of seeing something like a medieval Norwegian viking flick having a random man of coloured skin thrown in for the sake of diversity, or a woman thrown into a historical fiction story's army for the sake of equality. If all of this isn't pandering, I'm not sure what is anymore, because it clearly isn't a desire to stick to source texts/historical facts. Begrudge me if they will, but if the story calls for a certain set of characters that may or may not piss a few people off, I say: "Let the story commence!" And I say this as an author who has been pushing for more female leads.

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