© We know very well how intolerant they are in modern Europe and, especially, in the USA, towards media where there are no black or colored characters. We remember well how the Witcher 3 was lambasted for this. And after Square Enix released a new story trailer for its upcoming RPG Final Fantasy XVI, which didn’t feature a single non-white character, IGN asked producer Naoki Yoshida if there would be there are blacks or other people of color in the game. To which Yoshida explained that the fantasy world of Valisteia was based on medieval Europe and they wanted to limit this world culturally and geographically.
Valistea could never be as diverse as, say, modern Earth… or even Final Fantasy XIV. Ultimately, we felt that while ethnic diversity is very important in Valistea, over-incorporation into this isolated corner of a much larger world could violate the narrative boundaries we had originally set for ourselves. The story we’re telling is fantasy, yes, but it’s also rooted in reality.
There was a similar response from CDPR regarding The Witcher, which was essentially based on medieval Poland, where there were neither Africans nor Asians. Which, of course, is hard for unfortunate historians from the Western gamer to believe and take the fact for granted.
Yoshida further added:
It can be difficult to assign distinctive ethnic characteristics to an antagonist or protagonist without prejudicing the audience, inviting unwarranted speculation, and ultimately fueling the flames of controversy.
Final Fantasy XVI will be released in summer 2023 on PS5.