Having a female protagonist causes publishers to lose interest in the game

19 Mar

nilin remember me

Just yesterday, we told you about the lack of female main characters in video games and how people try to fix the problem hacking some evergreen classics, like Donkey Kong and The Legend Of Zelda.

Today we report to you the words of Remember Me‘s creative director Jean-Max Morris, interviewed by Sophie Prell from Penny Arcade. We remember you that the upcoming cyberpunk game from Capcom features a female character, Nilin, as protagonist.

Here’s Morris talking about the choice to have a woman as main character:

It was not a decision. It was something that just felt right from the beginning. It’s one of those things that we never looked at from a pure, cold marketing perspective because that would have endangered the consistency of the whole game.

We had some that said, “Well, we don’t want to publish it because that’s not going to succeed. You can’t have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that”.

We wanted to be able to tease on Nilin’s private life, and that means for instance, at one point, we wanted a scene where she was kissing a guy. We had people tell us, “You can’t make a dude like the player kiss another dude in the game, that’s going to feel awkward”.

I’m like, if you think like that, there’s no way the medium’s going to mature. There’s a level of immersion that you need to be at, but it’s not like your sexual orientation is being questioned by playing a game. I don’t know, that’s extremely weird to me.

The fact is that we’re doing a cyberpunk game, and there are cyberpunk games out there that are about physical augmentation and transhumanism, and those are very male worlds in a way. The world we were building was much more about emotion, intimacy, identity, and the way technology would intersect those. It just felt like the other side of the coin, the yin and the yang, and it just made sense to us that it would be a female character.

You can identify with people of the other gender in movies, why could you not in games? The fact that our core target is males 15-25 is not an excuse. We need to be able to create, and respect the audience enough to believe that they can be smart enough to identify with that type of character.

We totally agree with Morris, but just hearing that some publishers lost their interest in the game only because of a female protagonist makes us very sad, and quite hopeless. We’re sure that those shortminded people will regret it once the game will be out.

 

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2 Responses to “Having a female protagonist causes publishers to lose interest in the game”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Supergiant Games reveal their next project: Transistor | That Damn Pixel - 19 March 2013

    […] Transistor, players assume the role of a young woman (yes, more female protagonist, please!) who gains control of a powerful weapon after a mysterious group of assailants nearly kills her […]

  2. First concept arts from the upcoming Grasshopper Manufacture’s game | That Damn Pixel - 28 March 2013

    […] both Suda51 and Kazuki Morishita (GungHo bossman) confirmed that the protagonist will be a female (thankfully they don’t give a fuck about publishers), that the game won’t be on smarthphones and/or tablets (thanks x2) and that the plot will be […]

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