In a statement, Seed Council President Áslat Holmberg has called on Square Enix to immediately remove the “Far Northern Costume Set” from Final Fantasy XIV. He refers to the cultural rights of the Sami to clothing.
What outfit is it? On December 14th, a new outfit arrived in the FFXIV cash shop (cover photo). The Far Northern costume set consists of 5 pieces and costs €13.50.
It is based on the traditional dress of northern cultures in appearance, with the strongest influence coming from Sami clothing. It is an indigenous people settled mainly in northern Fennoscandia, but also has its representatives in Russia.
This outfit is currently causing trouble with an organization that represents the interests of the Sami people.
“Our cultural property rights are not theoretical”
What is required? In the call At Square Enix, the President of the Sami Council is requesting that Square Enix “immediately remove the outfit from the game and enter into dialogue with the Sami people.”
According to Holmberg, the company violated the cultural rights of the people with the outfit:
[…] Our cultural property rights are not theoretical. They are and will be protected by intellectual property rights, which are generally recognized worldwide. As a media company, Square Enix is very well informed about these rights and there is no apology for this blatant violation […]
The Council believes that Square Enix’s violation is particularly damaging because the Sami clothing represents not just mere looks, but represents part of the identity of the people.
By selling the product, Square Enix has 41 million players [sic] allowed to disguise themselves as seeds, thereby contributing to the erosion of culture, the council said.
At the end of the call, Holmberg emphasizes that the Saami Council has often worked with media companies on Saami culture issues in the past. There is a “reasonable and appropriate way of establishing and maintaining this collaboration and enforcing that all necessary elements of it are taken into account.”
However, the Council’s statement does not refer to possible legal consequences if Square Enix should not comply with its demands. It is therefore not clear how exactly the seed council will proceed if the outfit remains in the game.
The Seed Council’s statement adds to the rows and scandals that have erupted around FFXIV over the past few months:
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