Following the controversy of Final Fantasy 15′s all-male cast, game director Hajime Tabata discusses how women still play an important role in the game.

While Final Fantasy XV‘s story will focus solely on a group of men, a recent interview with game director Hajime Tabata has shed some light on the role of female side characters.

According to Tabata, while Final Fantasy XV is sticking to its ‘guys on a road trip’ theme, the game will still feature several significant female characters. Tabata stresses in the interview that the women appearing in the game won’t be limited to love interests, and that the female cast won’t solely consist of helpful characters, either. Tabata explains that female characters will also appear as enemies that the protagonists will face in combat.

Tabata is remaining fairly vague on female characters appearing in the game at this time, with the exception of Cindy, Notis’ mechanic. He points out that while the game is centered around an all-male road trip theme, Cindy, is an essential part of that trip:

“[Cindy] is a very important part of the story because by keeping the car running she makes the entire journey possible.”

Final Fantasy XV has previously been criticized for its lack of playable female characters. Tabata previously stated that women may appear as temporary party members, though he made no mention of this plan in this most recent interview. However, considering that women will at least appear on the battlefield as opponents, hopefully Tabata’s team hasn’t scrapped these plans.

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Final Fantasy XV has undergone some significant changes during its development period due to the response of gamers, like scrapping Final Fantasy XV‘s automatic battle system. However, Tabata’s team hasn’t heeded all of the complaints that gamers have had, particularly those having to do with women in the game. In addition to some gamers voicing complaints about the all-male cast, others have felt that Cindy’s appearance is overly provocative. While development team behind Mobius Final Fantasy revised their male protagonist’s outfit to be less skimpy, Tabata and his team have stated that Cindy’s scantily-clad appearance will remain unchanged.

Tabata’s prior comments that the men of Final Fantasy XV could only be themselves if women weren’t around flared some tempers, but it’s clear that the main cast of the game isn’t going to change. Admittedly, it’s hard to fully comprehend whether or not the development team’s intentions will be successful without playing the finished product. It’s quite possible that once RPG fans actually have the chance to get their hands on Final Fantasy XV, Tabata’s decisions will make sense.

Final Fantasy XV is slated to release sometime in 2016 for PS4 and Xbox One.

Source: Examiner