Square Enix has announced a Final Fantasy XIV icon was changed because it scared players with trypophobia, or the fear of closely grouped holes.
The Final Fantasy XIV icon was changed for the Sage class, a new class arriving with the upcoming Endwalker expansion to the MMORPG. Here’s a comparison between the the original (left) and the new icon (right), below:
Complaints seem to have mostly come from the official Japanese forums for Final Fantasy XIV, where discussion of the design and how it grossed out some users accumulated 24 pages at the time of writing.
The level of discussion clearly got a response out of Square Enix, who promptly filled in those holes.
“When we released new details for sage and reaper on the special site, we also included their icons,” game producer and director Naoki Yoshida wrote in a new update, “not thinking that they were particularly big reveals. However, we soon received feedback from players all over the world, who told us that the sage icon made them uncomfortable or fearful.”
It’s worth noting the original icon was meant to mimic that actual in-game weapons the Sage class will use, which has four levitating blades that are indented with holes.
“The design concept is unchanged,” Yoshida said, “with the icon being based on the four nouliths which form the sage’s armament. The holes in the original design were added for detail, but they ended up appearing as a cluster.”
He added, “To address the problem, the new icon reduces the holes while accentuating the design concept. Now, comparisons will inevitably be made, and some of you may prefer the original. But we believe that designs like this are things that grow on you as you play the job, and ask for your understanding as we head into Endwalker.”
While a new disorder, trypophobia is theorized to come from the fear of rotting and decaying flesh, as well as some of the nastier bugs that can burrow in skin and even lay eggs in skin – thus producing lots of small, closely packed holes.
Final Fantasy XIV is available to Windows PC, (via the SE Store, and Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and at some point Xbox One. A free trial is available. In case you missed it, you can find our Shadowbringers expansion review here (we can’t recommend it enough!) Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is set to launch for Windows PC on November 23.