Following Final Fantasy VII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura’s statement that an “ethics department” was the reason Tifa’s chest was “tightened,” a representative has detailed the purpose of the ethics department at Square Enix.
Nomura indicated the changes made to Tifa’s chest size were so she “doesn’t look unnatural during all the intense fighting.” He added, “Because of that we added black thigh highs and tank top.”
“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.”
Final Fantasy VII Remake has a T for Teen rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Here’s their official summary.
“This is a role-playing game in which players embark on a quest to prevent an evil corporation from destroying the world. As players explore this fantasy realm, they can use melee weapons and magical attacks to engage in turn-based combat with various enemies (e.g., human-like characters, giant insects, snake monsters, biomechanical creatures); damage is indicated by a loss of hit points. Cutscenes include additional instances of violence: soldiers shooting at unarmed men; characters getting slashed/impaled with a sword in slow motion. A handful of environments also depict bloodstained floors and walls. The game contains suggestive innuendo in the dialogue during a bathtub sequence (e.g., “Bubby! So you’re the intimate type, eh?” and “Why don’t you stick around and play a bit? Daddy’s so lonely . . .”). During the course of the game, a goddess-like character is dressed in a low-cut top that displays moderate amounts of cleavage. The words “jacka*s,” “goddamn,” and “sh*t” appear in dialogue.”
Both the PlayStation One version for Final Fantasy VII as well as the PlayStation 3, PS Vita, and PSP versions have T for Teen ratings. Tifa’s chest size was not “tightened” in these games.
As Niche Gamer points out a number of games like Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment, Fairy Fencer F, Skullgirls, Guilty Gear Xrd – SIGN, Toukiden: Kiwama, and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re:Birth3 V Generation all received Teen ratings. You can take a look at some of the content that is deemed T for Teen in these games here.
But maybe the biggest kicker might be the ESRB rating for Soul Calibur VI. The game is rated T for Teen.
Here’s their official summary:
“This is a fighting game in which players engage in one-on-one combat with a large cast of supernatural and human characters. Characters punch, kick, and throw each other to drain opponents’ life meters. Several characters use swords, spears, pistols, axes, and nunchucks while fighting. Finishing moves and special attacks are often depicted with brief slow-motion effects; combat is highlighted by cries of pain and impact sounds. One cutscene, rendered in a painting-like art style, depicts a character sitting in a pool of blood. Several female characters wear skimpy, low-cut costumes that display large amounts of cleavage; one female character is stylized to appear nude, though no discernible details are seen (i.e., no nipples; crotch region flat). The words “a*s” and “bastard” appear in the dialogue.”
As you can see, you can depict female characters wearing “skimpy, low-cut costumes that display large amounts of cleavage” and still receive a T for Teen rating. In fact, they note that you can have a female character “stylized to appear nude” and still get a T for Teen rating.
What do you make of this Square Enix representative’s explanation regarding the purpose of the Ethics Department? Do you think tightening Tifa’s chest ensured a T for Teen rating? Or do you think there could be another reason why Tifa’s chest was “tightened” by the Ethics Department?