Final Fantasy XIV’s Newest Races Are Gender-Locked, And Players Are Not Happy

Final Fantasy XIV’s Newest Races Are Gender-Locked, And Players Are Not Happy

When a new rabbit-eared race called Viera was revealed for Final Fantasy XIV’s upcoming Shadowbringers expansion during last month’s Paris Fanfest, only female versions were shown, but players were hopeful that the male version of the Viera would be announced at the Tokyo Fanfest this past weekend.

Instead, Square Enix added a whole new race, the exclusively male Hrothgar. So, now there are two gender-locked races instead of one. Great.

Introduced in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and popularised by Final Fantasy XII’s Fran, the Viera are a race of tall, lanky bunny people. According to lore, male Viera exist but they live in separate settlements and do not appear in public.

In a recent interview with GameSpot, Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida cited this lore as the reason why playable Viera can only be female.

But the lore hasn’t stopped players from clamoring for and anticipating the reveal of playable rabbit boys. When asked about the possibility of male Viera during a Q&A session at the Paris Fanfest last month, Yoshida said he could not comment and that players would have to wait until this weekend’s Tokyo event for more information.

Many took that comment as confirmation male Viera would appear. They did not.

Instead of playable male Viera, Yoshida introduced the male-exclusive race Hrothgar. Modelled after the bestial Ronso from Final Fantasy X, the Hrothgar are thickly-muscled cat men, some of whom sport horns à la FFX’s Kimahri.

While Final Fantasy lore features both female and male Ronso, in Final Fantasy XIV they will be a male-only race, included as a counterpart to the female-only Viera.

This is, frankly, some bullshit. First off, adhering to the lore only matters for the Viera? Players cannot be male Viera because of lore, but they also cannot be female Hrothgar because, what, it wouldn’t be fair to everybody who wanted to be a male Viera? Nonsense.

Secondly, Final Fantasy XIV already has a humanoid feline race in the Miqo’te. Ironically, when Final Fantasy XIV first launched back in 2010, the Miqo’te were a female gender-locked race, a counterpart to the male-only Roegadyn. After the game was shut down and rebooted as A Realm Reborn in 2013, male Miqo-te and female Roegadyn got added, thanks largely to fan outcry.

Now fans are outcrying again. Reddit threads about the new race reveal (thanks to reader Connor for bringing these to my attention) are filled with angry comments.

There’s an extensive fan-created poll gathering data about how players feel about the gender-locking, and how it affects their feelings about July’s Shadowbringers expansion.

Fortunately, director Naoki Yoshida told GameStop the team is taking player feedback under consideration. The developers have a good track record when it comes to dealing with players’ complaints, like their approach to fixing issues with player housing, or their response the first time Final Fantasy XIV had a pair of gender-locked races.

Let’s hope players don’t have to complain too loud and long, and I can get my bunny boy on sooner rather than later.


  • In a recent interview with Mr. Happy, Yoshi-P stated that the new race was originally going to just be the Hrothgar (which have apparently been in the works before the Return to Ivalice raid was announced last year), but since people have been begging for Viera for years, they decided to work on the female Viera instead of the female Hrothgar.

    Yoshi-P and the dev team are very aware of the complaints.

    • If they want to complain send them to Terra online. I’m pretty sure basically every new class is always female exclusive.

    • I translated this as “A dozen players out of 5 million have complained on Reddit about it”. Not a big portion of the players in other words, and just a small minority feeling somewhat entitled. When they aint.

      As you so eloquently put it, boo fucking hoo.

  • Yet most of those complaining are no doubt quite happy to play the Mass Effect games, with their sexy exclusively-female Asari…

    • …and “outcrying” doesn’t mean what you obviously think it means, Mike. But it is strangely apt for those losers who are complaining that they can’t have a playable bunny boy. I find that SJWs quite frequently compete to outcry each other in virtue-signalling free-for-alls.

    • Those games didn’t have you role-playing a player created Asari though: you just had particular Asasri individuals appear in the game.

      Also, the Mass Effect games don’t claim that male Asasri exist but are just hiding.

      • I take your second point, but in ME3 multiplayer you could create and customise a number of different Asari. There were also a small number of people claiming that the ‘lore’ excuse for not having male Asari was just an excuse for the objectification of women 😀

  • String me up, but I personally don’t see an issue. The developer ultimately makes the decisions so just play it or don’t and if your that peeved just boycott the game LOL doesn’t hurt anyone, unless peoples feelings are getting hurt then we need to start getting serious.

      • Strange, he’s usually against whenever “gamers” (spoken with disgust) do anything. You’d think he be pro pro-dev comments.

        • Yeah I am not bothered I don’t take this stuff personally. I just cannot see how anything in my comment remotely warrants a downvote, but hey humans are a peculiar lot.

          • Come on guys. Let people upvote or downvote as they see fit. He’s probably got his own reasons, whether they make sense to us or not. Don’t call him out for voicing his opinions through voting.

          • Edit to avoid moderation hell: Wait till he comments his opinion and then have a discussion about why.

          • yet for some reason, you didnt do that… your post was complaining about others having their feelings hurt, yet as soon as you get a downvote, you make a personal attack against me. Not based on what i say, not based on my opinions on the topic at hand. Just a straight up personal tagged attack.

          • @blakeavon Uh not sure how it was a “targeted” attack as all I said was Cheers hardly an attack but sure like I said everyone has opinions, so what was your reason for the downvote? Just curious.

          • Considering how downvotes can tank a person’s account and send every comment into moderation hell, disagreeing opinions on benign posts should absolutely be shared via words instead of downvotes.

  • Don’t like it? Don’t play it, the devs can do whatever they want, who needs to pander to be inclusive to gender, it’s not Earth, thry aren’t human, but wahhh I can’t be a furry boy bunny, christ…

  • The lack of female Ronso is a far greater issue than the lack of male Viera, which shares the same excuse for why there were no male Mithra back in FFXI. FFXI never had the change that FFXIV did with ARR, and only had one male Mithra appear as an NPC due to their rarity and use for breeding.

  • Not to mentioned how overly sexualised the female character is, and same for the male really, you would think by this age, even in FF we can move passed bikini clad woman and overly hunkified men. I guess not.

      • Not illegal. Moronic. Lazy. Unoriginal. Unremarkable. And,um, um, just so last century. Grin.

        • “Women should have the right to wear whatever they want without judgement! Unless they want to wear revealing clothes, Then we will judge you and say you can’t wear that”

          Progressive logic.

          • This is a female archetype character designed by a male, not living conscious being making decisions.

    • Well the playbase is to blame for that. They’ve been begging for Viera for years, which is why SE decided to make them a last minute project (Hrothgar were originally going to be what we got).

  • While Final Fantasy lore features both female and male Ronso, in Final Fantasy XIV they will be a male-only race, included as a counterpart to the female-only Viera.Yet in the paragraph above you say they are only modelled after the Ronso and therefore are not the Ronso from the lore. So yes, they are adhering to the lore for both Hrothgar and Viera.

    I get that there is a legitimate battle for equality and better representation for both females and males in games but please don’t weaken everyone’s arguments by picking unnecessary fights. It’s also unfair to artists, authors and other creatives to constantly demand that they specifically cater to your demands rather than allowing everyone to have the freedom to create what they wish.

    • The Viera in FF XIV are not the same as those from FF XII either. Despite the fact they have parts of Ivalice in XIV, it’s all just for fanservice, they’re not the same place.

      Also, don’t get stuck on the name because there are ~~lore reasons~~ at work here too – the plot of Shadowbringers has your character jumping over to another world. On Hydalaen, they are known as Hrothgar, but on Norvrandt they are Ronso. Most likely this will be how they implement two different-looking ‘tribes’ the way they have with the other races.

      My big complaint personally (I have very little interest in either race) is that the Hrothgar model is lazy as fuck. It looks like they basically took the existing male Roe model, added some fur on and stuck on some cat ears. Seems very half-assed. The concept art looks great but the actual 3D implementation is terrible.

        • Shame on you for mis-spelling it!! I hate typoo’s. Like autocorrect, they give me the ships.

          • To be fair, some of the FFXIV names are ridiculously hard to remember how to spell. Especially some of the Roegadyn names, they use a Welsh-derived system that results in a lot of ws, ys and ls put together.

    • So what you’re saying is that they are really attack helicopters…

      Didnt think the B1-Alpha and -Beta copters in FFVII were sentient. Learn something every day 🙂

  • As someone that loves FFXIV and the FF IP overall, I for one hope the developers listen to complaints. I’ve less than 100 hours in this game since ARR so I consider my choice of the argument to be a casual and fair request, however if it isn’t acknowledged I wont mind staring at a female bunny but in, I’m sure an eventual cafe/maid outfit…

    For those jumping up and down about “sjw” and pointless complaints being made; to me you look like the spoiled complainers even moreso – complaining on a site irrelevent to the topic deciders (developers) awareness.

    At least the purposeful complainers are speaking to the voice of effect about something they care about. You’re only venting that others have different opinion to you for NO effect. /facepalm

  • On the sexual tones, guess what sells. However I think it is fair to point out that in FFXIV races barely get uniforms. If clothes make the man, or woman, then classes make the clothes.

    Wanna be a black mage? Be ready for belted coats and wizard hats.

    Wanna be a dragoon, be ready for leather and metal.

    Each class does certainly have it’s skimpy options however there seems to me to be many more sensible class attire to choose from than risque.

  • Yeah… It’d be a real shame for the creators of things to be allowed to make the decisions for things they created.

  • Just like real life is pretty much gender locked.

    Red dead redemption, kingdom hearts, call of duty….all gender locked and no one cares.

    Besides why do fans constantly think they cam override developers creative vision for social justice?

    What does it matter anyway?

    All this winging is actually sexist and it isn’t always a good idea.
    For example the women’s screams of pain in BF5 make it an objectively less fun to play and this issue hurt it’s sales badly.

    Let developers lock whatever they want.

    Just don’t buy it if it is not to your taste

  • After seeing the anime Zodiac Wars (name maybe slightly wrong), a kill or kill battleroyale style anime based on characters from the chinese zodiac… the male character for the Rabbit was disturbingly sexualised. Buck naked with only a black thong and cotten tail and ears

    So female only maybe a goid thing.

  • It’d be worse if they did add male bunnies. If MMO’s have taught me anything, it’s that the female of any race is usually a babe, and the male is either a massive beefcake or some gnarled up humanoid. I don’t need beefcake bunnies in my life.

  • Viera have been a female only race since their introduction on the GBA.
    Isn’t a MUCH more inclusive concept to have two warrior races that operate within a presumably same sex attracted culture and society?

    Where are all of these outraged people, anyway? I know they are loud on social media, but why the fuck does that count? It doesn’t increase their numbers nor the value of their opinions.

  • They should have just stuck to “this is the lore for this FF world. Lore from FFT, as with every other FF game, is irrelevant”.

  • Now fans are outcrying again. Reddit threads about the new race reveal (thanks to reader Connor for bringing these to my attention) are filled with angry comments.

    Clicked on the reddit link … Pretty much NO angry comments !
    Stop trying to make and report on things that aren’t things!

  • The “Lore” reason for not having male Viera is exactly the same reason they gave for not having male Miqo’te in 1.0. They eventually realized it was better to give players options rather than restrictions, and changed this in 2.0, and now the male Miqo’te is the second most popular race for male characters in the game after the bog-standard human.

    Despite what some commenters (who obviously don’t actually play the game) in here are saying, the outcry against this is not just a small minority, it’s been wide and fairly strong from a lot of people. There’s no reason not to give the option, especially when there was already the precedent of adding the other gender to previously gender-locked races. Honestly it’s baffling to me that they went this route in the first place, let alone were surprised at this outcry, suggests they really don’t understand their players that well. Or their game for that matter. Your character is meant to be an exceptional individual that can learn to be any (and every) class in the game. Why would it matter that men of a given race are not commonly seen? You’re not exactly common. There’s really no reason other than development resources not to do it.

    Anyway, they’ll 100% walk this decision back. Maybe not at expansion launch, but expect it to be something they’ll add in 5.2 or so.

  • ….I admit I don’t read kotaku every day, but the “anti-SJW” vibe in this article’s comment section is shocking to me. It’s like I’m reading 4chan or something. When did Kotaku AU readers stop being chill people and start being so toxic? Sad to see this place go to the dogs (or the bunny-people, as it were).

    • Have you actually ever gone to /b/?

      Because you just pulled that statement out your arse. This is not toxic. This is free discussion. Not the group think you see on Kotaku US.

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