Square Enix Considering Fan Feedback Over Final Fantasy XIV Online's Controversial New Races

New races Hrothgar and Viera are gender-locked, and some fans aren't happy.

140 Comments

One of the biggest announcements at Final Fantasy Fan Fest this weekend in Tokyo was a new race, Hrothgar, for Final Fantasy XIV Online's upcoming Shadowbringers expansion.

The announcement was met with some amount of criticism, as it was revealed that Hrothgar is locked to male characters while the other new race, Viera, is locked to female characters.

Game director Naoki Yoshida responded to the drama in an interview with GameSpot today. He said the team hasn't had enough time yet to consider all the feedback considering the announcement of Hothgar is so recent.

"We have to identify what they're coming from, so we can respond correctly," Yoshida said about concerned fans. "We want to review all the feedback that players gave. The bottom line is that the addition of a race takes quite a lot of cost; it's really quite an undertaking."

Yoshida added that in Final Fantasy XII, which is where Viera is from, the male Viera do not show themselves in public, so Final Fantasy XIV Online is staying loyal to the lore with only offering a female option. Yoshida explained that the male-only Hrothgar is Square Enix's effort to offer a new male-only race in response to Viera being female-only.

I asked Yoshida if Square Enix would considering allowing more gender options for Hrothgar and Viera in the future, but it appears the studio wants to consider feedback first before making any announcements. Yoshida also said to GameSpot that, due in part to the high complexity and challenge of creating new races and balancing them, Hrothgar might be the final new race added to Final Fantasy XIV Online.

The new Shadowbringers expansion launches on July 2. Final Fantasy XIV is available for PS4 and PC, but Yoshida also recently teased that it could launch on Xbox and Nintendo platforms.

We sat down with Yoshida as part of the Final Fantasy Fan Fest. For more, check out GameSpot's recent stories linked below.

Disclosure: Square Enix paid for GameSpot's flight to Tokyo and accomodation.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for Chaloner11
Chaloner11

You know it's Democrats that are crying....lol

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Romangelo

That's the right decision. It's about the lore, and it's been like that since FF12. Shame on people crying about it and trying to turn it into sexism issue. Get over it, you can't be a male viera dancer wearing a skirt. Be thankful that they allow male characters to wear so many skirts and other female-looking outfits and same sex marriage support. This game caters to you guys as much as they can but you can't get everything at all time. Deal with it.

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Blk_Mage_Ctype

Are these races supposed to reproduce asexually lore-wise? In other words, do these races even have two sexes to begin with? Because if so, then it's just more stupidity coming from a society which has become hopelessly corrupted by the farce that is political correctness and have taken the concept of equality to an unhealthy extreme in which those who fail to conform to their own individual (often unrealistically utopian) ideals of equality are hypocritically discriminating against.

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adayinverse

@Blk_Mage_Ctype: Contrary to james_xeno's statement, yes the males exist and yes they're confirmed outside "compilation type books and such." An NPC talks about them in the game, confirms they exist. This NPC has been among the (female) Viera personally, so this isn't something they just learned from some book.

So the concept of the Warrior of Light (who is a single person in the game's lore) being a single member from the male gender of an existing race isn't extreme or in any way lore breaking. It already happened with the male Miqo'te.

https://imgur.com/a/FhPtF4B

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James_xeno

@Blk_Mage_Ctype:

With the Viera? No but, although males are "said" to exist in compilation type books and such, they are never ever seen, talked about or even mentioned in-game. Combined with the fact that the Viera can interbreed with other races and well.. you get the idea. At best they are like a very (even more) extreme case of races like the Mithra were originally meant to be. Where it was something like 50+:1 female/male. (what a race to be born male into.. :D)

Agree completely with the rest of your post though!

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Aorian_Starr

Can we not leave the B.S. over Political Correctness - Gender crap and such out of our games?!?! I don't think I am the only one that is sick to death of all this B.S. over all the 'Social Engineering' being shoved down our throats! If you are going to have genders in these games, fine, but lets not do all the other crap of gender 2-step Crap we are being bombarded with in the real world! The comic book industry is going down because it jump in, with both feet, with the Social Justice Warrior B.S. and basic Political Correctness! Please, if we must have genders, lets keep it to 2. The whole ideal of Role Playing, you can be either gender in these games, and even be races/creatures that we are NOT in real life!

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Kefke_Wren

@aorian_starr: I don't care about political correctness at all. I just think the male race is ugly, and want to play the game as a sexy rabbit man.

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Baron56

@aorian_starr: Political correctness?Since when asking for no gender locking have to do with political correctness? Since when as a customer asking for a Heal as become an SJW BS?

So if I follow your twisted logic, those who complain about V1.0 were all liberal-Antifa-SJW?

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Aorian_Starr

@baron56: pissing and moaning about a fantasy race being confined to one gender is all part of these gender warfare battles. A fantasy race is at the mercy of it's creator. They could have all been female, it doesn't matter... if you want to play that character, or rather it should matter. But that is how so many of these gender discussions start, then lead into why a fantasy race's gender is different, and so forth and so on, and the crap just keeps on building. The game designers made that race to be males in this game, if you want to play the race, then your are a male. What is the big hairy deal?!? Having played RGP's long before electronic games was even thought of, you learned that races are not equal, nor were they meant to be equal by design. They all had certain benefits and short falls for going with a particular race or gender. Nothing twisted about it.

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Baron56

@aorian_starr: the is no big deal, as you have the right to open your mouth pissing and moaning about people complain about the fact there is shouldn't a gender lock on the game have every right to have a problem with that.

That right came when you are a customer.

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Keaze_

@aorian_starr: Honestly I think this is just the beginning. We are probably in for a very wild ride in the future.

Avatar image for aorian_starr
Aorian_Starr

@Keaze_: I fear you are correct. They can suck the joy out of pretty much everything! It looks like I picked the wrong time to give up sniffing model airplane glue! (a line out of an old movie - "Airplane")

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PHINIX

Is it "Hothgar" or "Hrothgar"?

They are both used in the article here.

PHINIX

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ZIMdoom

I am 100% in support of diversity in videogames. But I simply can't get behind this kind of whining where people cry about options that are so specific. If you want to play a female character, there are lots of options. If you want to play a male character, there are lots of options. But the idea that people are complaining that they want to play a specific character/race in a game and can't be a certain gender is just stupid. It is just people acting entitled. The solution is easy. Don't be that character/race then. Pick a different one. I also play a lot of board games and this is like when a designer puts out a game for 2-4 players and people cry that you can't play it solo, or with 5-10 players, or they don't like the player colours, etc, etc, etc. Then don't play it! Nobody is forcing you to play it.

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Kefke_Wren

@ZIMdoom: "If you want to play a female character, there are lots of options. If you want to play a male character, there are lots of options."

But if you want to play as a male character who is a rabbit-person then there are no options.

The argument "but it's lore" is stupid. First of all, because that lore already existed for other races, and was retracted because the designers realized that they are making a game, not writing a book, and giving the players options that they want to play is the most important aspect. Secondly, because in the oh-so-important lore, male vierra exist, so that right there ought to be the end of it. They exist, so one could be a hero. Even beyond that, though, the argument of "well it would still be lore-breaking to have a bunch running around when they're supposed to be rare" is bunk too, because not only are female vierra supposed to be just as rare, but even if they weren't, the game's story doesn't exactly acknowledge that there are thousands of "chosen ones" running around anyway. It's as though, to the game's world, only you can see the other players running around, but to every NPC only you exist.

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ZIMdoom

@Kefke_Wren: "But if you want to play as a male character who is a rabbit-person then there are no options."

Ok. So? There are also no options to play as a male Kitana in Mortal Kombat. Or a female scorpion. What is the point, other than you feel entitled to something the developers didn't include in the game? Play what is there.

Look, I get the complaint. I really do. In an RPG game people like to have character customization. I get that there is no real reason they couldn't add In gender swap options for the classes. I just don't care. Why don't I care? Because in my own opinion, there is a world of difference between giving players choice and gender options and having diversity in a game, and making literally every single character and race with two genders. Could they have added it? Sure, why not. Should they add it? It really doesn't matter at all so long as there is already lots of choice available. Nobody is entitled to play the game as a male rabbit person. If you REALLY, desperately need to play as the rabbit person, then suck it up and play the character as is. Who cares?

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Baron56

@ZIMdoom: Im a customer like everybody else and I have every right to voice my discontent about that gender locking race. People are so sick in their mind and think they have the right to tell people when the can or when the cant complain and still have the nerve to talk about political correctness and SJW fascism.

I'm just amazed by the level of projection and mental gymnastics.

Avatar image for ZIMdoom
ZIMdoom

@baron56: ??? I'm not even sure what you are talking about. Nobody said you couldn't complain or be discontent. I certainly didn't. I said I can't get behind this kind of whining and complaining. It's not like there aren't a number of other race/gender options in the game to chose from ensuring representation. I agree that their reasons for not having a gender option here is stupid. But that doesn't meant he complaints aren't also stupid. If the game had NO gender choices at all, or lack of diversity, then sure, I could see the complaints as that would alienate a whole large chunk of the market. But having a number of genders in the game, with one small exception, and then people complaining about it? I think it's stupid.

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Baron56

@ZIMdoom: So what should I call people who are complaining and whining because of other people discontents? The hypocrisy is so blatant its just ridiculous.

I could easily trig you guys with some Right-wing or liberal rhetoric BS but don't give a damn about diversity, "lake genders" or gender equality, I'm a customer and I don't play with females I want a male, Viera. Politic, genders and LGBTQZP have nothing to do with that.

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ZIMdoom

@baron56: call it what you want. But if part of you didn’t agree it’s stupid, you probably would have said as much already. You want a male Viera? Too bad. Go make your own game. Or take your money elsewhere. But you aren’t entitled to it so literally everything you’ve said so far is meaningless.

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Baron56

@ZIMdoom : There was the gender lock race at the V1.0 and they did use the same excuse about the lore and the resource. but in the end, they fix it. Trying to play the white knight by being condescendence and dismissive and making yourself look righteous and have some sort of a higher moral taking point do you have any ideas how stupid you look? If your so happy with what you got what about you shut it and let people do what they want?

And the irony it's comming from the very same people who complaining about politically correct and SJW talking shit about them and yet became a reverse one

Avatar image for ZIMdoom
ZIMdoom

@baron56: Aside from the very first sentence here, literally nothing you've said makes any sense. I honestly question how old you are, because clearly you don't understand the meaning of the majority of words you are using. But if crying because you really want to be a male cat person but female cat person is the only option makes you feel better, then go for it dude. I honestly couldn't care less.

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JSprunk

Why do people play role-playing games if they don’t actually want to roleplay??

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James_xeno

@jsprunk:

This! x100

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JSprunk

@James_xeno: The best is when the devs finally cave in to the whiners and create both sexes, and then the army of complaints come out that the boobs are too big, etcetera... etcetera...

Avatar image for James_xeno
James_xeno

@jsprunk:

Indeed.. Because remember what race we are talking about here.... you know that if it wasn't for this nontroversy, that kind of stuff would be front page screeching. (and prob still will be)

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zell220987

LEL! Fake Final Fantasy Fan... he don't know the lore of this "Race"

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Imajinn

You know when this happened in XI, with the Mithra and Galka, it wasn't a big deal. But today is the day of whiney, let's make a big deal about genders, PC about anything era. Get an effing grip people. This isn't anything new!

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esqueejy

@imajinn: The butthurt was from the other side on this because it was female-only, i.e., interpreted as pushing that "agenda."

Avatar image for mrbojangles25
mrbojangles25

Too lazy to model male and female sexes into the game for both races.

"...the addition of a race takes quite a lot of cost; it's really quite an undertaking"

Well, should have done one race with two sexes instead of two races with one sex.

As far as women with rabbit ears go, you can't beat Louise Belcher.

Avatar image for jonesy974
Jonesy974

@mrbojangles25: Except not only is it incredibly expensive and time consuming to design a race, make the model, retrofit every piece of gear to work with the model etc, the male Viera have had literally zero appearances or representation in any final fantasy game. This means the design team would've basically construct the idea of what they think a make Viera would look like from scratch.

And the reason they didn't do make and female of the Hrothgar is because Viera was the most requested new race. The second most requested race was a beastly/animal looking race. This decision appeased the large majority of players despite what the vocal minority might be bitching about.

It's an easier task to create two races with existing character models from other games to work with. And Yoshida has already left the door open to adding them in the future depending on a variety of factors (player feedback, time, financial resources, and so on).

Maybe next time don't spout ignorant shit if you don't actually know what goes on behind the closed doors of the studio.

Avatar image for baron56
Baron56

@jonesy974: Yet they did the same crap for V1.0 and thanks for what you called "the vocal minority" they fix it. I wonder how the game would look like if "THE VOCAL MINORITY" didn't voice their discontent?

Some peoples' logic is stunning, they label you as "a minority" and by that implicitly tell you as a "minority" you should be happy with what you get and have every right to shut it.

The nerve to talk about time and recourse like Square Enix isn't a multi-billion dollars corporation and Final Fantasy 14 is at this time its most rentable game.

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Jonesy974

@baron56: Holy shit you're pretty fucking ignorant eh? First of all, the gender locking of 1.0 was also due to time and budget restraints. YoshiP didn't want initially have the gender locked races which is why it was eventually changed. It was going to be changed whether people complained or not.

And in this situation for Shadowbringers, yes, the vocal minority should shut up and be happy with what they're getting. Since they were debating even adding new races at all given at how time consuming and expensive they are to implement. They had time to create two races WITH the possibility of adding the other genders in the far future if they have the time and money to do so.

Also clearly you have no idea how Square Enix, or any other big companies work. So maybe you just shouldn't fucking speak anymore. FFXIV is not SE's biggest game. The revenue they make on that game is a drop in the pond compared to other games. SE currently has mobile games (aka the largest and most profitable market) that generate more money in a month than FFXIV makes in a year. On top of that, all of those games have their own separate teams, devs, studios, budgets, etc. Just because the mobile games make 75 million a month doesn't mean they're going to magically just divert that revenue and those staff members to a different project.

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Baron56

@jonesy974 : I was talking about PC and PS4, not mobile games,are you trying to act dumb? Vocal minorities? its what you claimed? but that doesn't give you jack shit right to tell people what they can or can't do?

But thanks you to show me your ability to use "google", it amazing to see that you took your time to use your reading skills on a Wikipedia page to illuminate me with your infinite knowledge event thought that won't change the fact that as a customer I have every right to complain and you can go sit on a cactus if you are not happy about it.

Avatar image for jonesy974
Jonesy974

@baron56: Oh no no, nice try. You weren't "only talking about PC and PS4 games". You made no mention of that whatsoever, so don't try to wiggle your way out of being called out as the idiot you are. Now you're trying to deflect like a dumbass because you got hit with actual facts.

I actually didn't use any google searching at all. That 75 million was a a hypothetical number and probably a low-ball at that. Everything else I said though was strictly common sense that anyone over the age of 12, with a full set of working chromosomes, and any modicum of knowledge about video games should already know. However even if I had googled anything it still would've been more research than you did on the subject, so why even bring it up? It just makes you look dumber since you clearly didn't do any reading.

Also I never told anybody what they can or cant do. I know you already admitted to a lack of reading comprehension, but you can go back and scroll up through my previous comments. In no way did I say people are not allowed to complain. I said that with everything they're getting they shouldn't be complaining, not that they can't. Its just that them complaining about this makes them look as dumb as....well, frankly as dumb as you.

If it's that big a deal breaker for you, dont buy it. Considering FFXIV is essentially on equal footing with WoW right now, I dont think the most extreme of the vocal minority who refuse to buy the game are going to negatively affect sales. We'll be fine and enjoy the game without you.

You should probably sit down and shut up now though little slugger. Every time your fingers touch the keyboard you manage to out-stupid yourself, to the point where your ignorance is apparent in every sentence.

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zyxahn

I thought there was only going to be one gender before I read the article. They're not. Both genders are represented and they are still complaining. Unbelievable.

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adayinverse

@zyxahn: Why is it unbelievable? One of the big draws to MMOs is character choice. Locking genders or classes behind specific walls goes against that kind of player choice and tends not to be terribly popular. Saying "both genders are represented" is meaningless when they're being represented by two drastically different races. If we're going to use that logic then why even have more than two races at all? Add one male race and one female race, there you go both are represented? Most people wouldn't find that to be very appealing.

It was an unpopular enough decision when FFXIV originally launched that they removed the three gender locks when it relaunched under new management.

Avatar image for esqueejy
esqueejy

@adayinverse: Sacrificing lore arbitrarily in the name of some nebulous undefined idea of "player choice" (or other excuses for butthurt) should be universally recognized and accepted by gamers as damaging to the games, the development process and the industry in general.

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adayinverse

@esqueejy: No lore is being sacrificed though. The Warrior of Light is a singular person, not a faction or an army. If the never-seen male Miqo'te can become playable, then so can the never-seen but equally existing male Viera.

Secondly, FFXIV isn't FFXII. It's not Ivalice. The lore for male Viera in Hydaelyn is whatever the **** Yoshida wants it to be; Matsuno himself said he had no hand in the decision behind what genders were available for Viera.

Avatar image for esqueejy
esqueejy

@adayinverse: Actually, there's some heavy indications that the Ivalice of FFXIV and FFXII are one and the same:

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2019/01/14/lore-check-final-fantasy-xiv-and-final-fantasy-xii-are-concurrent-stories/

I understand what you're saying though, since so many things overlap in the FF games despite it being just a reused name or boss or whatever and the games (usually) being totally unconnected. However, the fact that you meet up with Fran in FFXIV heavily suggests that it is actually the same Ivalice as FFXII and happening during roughly the same time period.

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Kefke_Wren

@esqueejy: Word of God says they're not.

Avatar image for esqueejy
esqueejy

@Kefke_Wren: Interesting. Hadn't seen that yet. It's too bad if you ask me. I'm not a fan of the way they do that....reusing things/characters without continuity.

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mcnichoj

I thought gender was only a social construct.

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mrbojangles25

@mcnichoj: yeah should be using the term "sex" instead of gender, if only to avoid triggering people lol

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Mikai

I remember a time when Game news outlets were exactly that and not blogs riddled with trash clickbait articles like this. Always makes me remember why i no longer follow these places for any news at all and go to twitter instead where the people bringing up real news are either the devs themselves or the fans who actually play these games.

The Viera and Ronso have always been in FF lore so whoever wrote this article to begin with is obviously not a fan or barely plays the damn game and yes only people bitching about this in the actual community are the players that barely play the game or casuals so please gtfo already and go make real articles.

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Zer0Day

Remember when the internet didn't exist and people that have nothing going on in their lives didn't have an outlet to cause a huge outcry over things that don't actually matter?

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deanmanwalking2

Every single player that complained should instantly have their account banned from the game for being such an idiot. Companies shouldn't have to stoop to this inane drama, they need to grow balls and tell people to grow up.

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mrbojangles25

@deanmanwalking2: EA tried that, it didn't work out too well.

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Bakenekoshiboo

I'm honestly more upset the hrothgar(ronso) are gender locked, because Ronso in FFX had both male and females. Additionally, the models look like crap! The little trailer makes them look like a badly reskinned roe, and looking at renders of Khimari from 18 YEARS AGO are holding up way better visually. It was a lazy job on their part.