Square Enix's decision to cover up the male hero of an upcoming Final Fantasy game for mobile devices wouldn't be noteworthy if female game characters didn't go into battle half-naked so regularly.
Usually, it's female role-playing game characters who wear the impractical armor. They'll prance around in metal bikinis, baring midriff and cleavage as they swing a battle axe. Male heroes, meanwhile, wear full plate armor, perhaps showing a little skin around the eyes through the slit in their helmets. If you want an idea of how widespread the practice is, just check out the before and after images on the Repair Her Armor Tumblr, which is dedicated to fixing sexy outfits for video game and comic book characters (Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain's character The Quiet is a great example).
The offending buttocks belong to the male hero of Mobius Final Fantasy, which was first revealed in December 2014. It will be released in Japan later this year and right now there's no plan to release it in other markets. In early images of the game, the character wore outfits that show off his back, chest, legs, and what I'm going to define as the upper and side butt, sans-crack.
"If enough people say they like those hiplines, then we might bring the original costume back."
During an hour-long presentation Square Enix uploaded to YouTube last week, the game's producer Yoshinori Kitase explained that after looking at various reactions online, the developer decided the character was showing too much skin.
"No offense to Gay people but his character design looks , Umm 'Gay,'" said one commenter on DualShockers in response to the game's announcement. "Gay or not gay, stop this shit ¬¬, the outfit is ridiculous, even if he is gay," said another.
However, according to a translation of the presentation on Rocketnews24, Kitase also said that "if enough people say they like those hiplines, then we might bring the original costume back."
As in previous Final Fantasy games, you can assign different "jobs" to this character, which changes his abilities and appearance. Final Fantasy X-2 was particularly concerned with fashion, featuring three female leads that you'd customize with the "dresspheres" system. The skimpy Thief dressphere, for example, was better for stealing from or fleeing enemies.
The most salacious images of Mobius Final Fantasy's character show him in his Onion Knight form, the earliest and weakest "job" in the game, which should explain why he's not covered in a lot of bulky armor, but other images of the character in more advance stages are still pretty revealing, with armor covering mostly his arms and legs.
Square Enix is obviously looking for feedback, and I for one wouldn't mind seeing some more barely dressed dudes in my video games, if only to balance the distribution of impractical armor among the genders. So please tweet, email Square Enix, and tell your friends to demand more male upper butts.