When it was revealed that Tetsuya Nomura’s vision of the Final Fantasy VII: Remake had to be compromised for the sake of Square Enix’s “Ethics Department”, which resulted in Tifa Lockhart being forced to wear a sports bra and the developers basically being creatively hogtied so they couldn’t give her boob jiggle physics, the first thing normal gamers asked was “What the heck is an Ethics Department?”. Well, a representative for Square explained, and it’s about as bad as you think.
“In the Square Enix Japan studios, the Ethics Department is actually a group within the company that evaluates game content to make sure it is aligned with the anticipated age ratings standards across the globe (CERO, ESRB, PEGI, etc). In this case, we want a new generation of gamers to experience Final Fantasy VII Remake and are working very closely with the company’s internal experts to make sure all of the game’s content is appropriate.”
So basically this is like a pre-censorship department.
They comb through the content and look for material that they think might be offensive and then make suggestions to the team in order to keep the creative departments in line with their own internal standards.
As mentioned in the Niche Gamer piece, there is no global standard.
What’s ‘T’ for Teen in the Americas could very well be PEGI 12 in Europe. Or what’s R18+ in Australia might only be Teen in the Americas. Or what’s PEGI 16 could end up being rated Mature by the ESRB. There’s an ebb and a flow to the way content is rated in different parts of the world, and some games get banned in some areas for content that others don’t think is that bad.
Further to the point, boob jiggling isn’t even grounds for raised ratings for most Teen-rated games, and it’s likely that Final Fantasy VII Remake will be rated Teen by the ESRB or CERO C in Japan. There are plenty of games with boob jiggling that still maintain those ratings despite having a bit of nip-and-bounce here and there.
In fact, Bandai Namco’s Soul Calibur VI is a perfect example of a game that managed to escape with a Teen rating while featuring clothes destruction, voluptuous maidens, and plenty of boob and butt jiggling on display… and in HD no less. You can read the full description of the content over on the ESRB entry for Soul Calibur VI.
Additionally you can check out the footage below from tentakaize for proof of jiggle.
Regardless, the real story here is the one we still don’t have: what made Square’s Ethics Department come to the decision that Tifa couldn’t have any boob jiggle during intense action sequences? And if the ratings boards didn’t explicitly say that boob jiggle would net a Mature/PEGI 18/R18+ label, then what was the impetus?
Most people probably already put two and two together, and came up with Sony’s censorship policies as the likely answer.
Given that platform holder policies regarding content enforcement and certification are under NDAs, it’s not like Square would be able to openly talk about it anyway.
In the end, Nomura had to capitulate to the Ethics Department’s demands. What’s frustrating for a lot of real fans is that various pro-censorship types are using this as an excuse to argue that the team is just making Tifa “more realistic” and are attempting to argue on the grounds of “physics” and “bra types”, sort of like that piece on IGN or Gamespot.
Both outlets fail to realize that:
- Final Fantasy isn’t real, and if it were trying to be real then the first major change they would have to make is Cloud needing a lot more muscle mass to be able to effectively wield the buster sword for any length of time.
- Barret would need an ammo drum on his back if he were going to fire as many bullets as he does from his gun-attachment.
- Everybody should be decked out in heavy body-kevlar to avoid dying from getting hit by gunfire, flames, and magical attacks during combat.
Obviously the game isn’t really trying to be realistic. However, people use Tifa’s boobs as some sort of barometer for realism in a wholly fantastical game where black smoke ghosts wisp around, magitek mechs are a thing, and materia can be used for summoning ancient gods and beasts. It’s absurd.
Nevertheless, expect the pro-censorship shills to continue to make excuses why Tifa’s boobs are the only thing that require “realism” in the Final Fantasy VII: Remake while Cloud’s gravity defying hair and physics-altering sword sweep through the barriers of the suspension of disbelief. Because obviously the most unrealistic thing about a game called Final Fantasy would be some minor boob jiggle from 110lbs Asian melee fighter who punches and kicks giant mutant lizards and armored crab monsters in the face.
(Thanks for the news tip Epicus Maximus)