Female characters in video games are becoming more common, but developer DontNod Entertainment has recently found that a large part of it is still a boy's club.
When the Remember Me creators were trying to find funding for their project, some publishers resisted a partnership because the protagonist was female. This according to what creative director Jean-Max Morris told Penny Arcade .
" 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.'"
Obviously, the assumption there would be that the majority of those controlling Nilin would be male, which is certainly true. And while publishers are essentially only interested in one thing (sales), it's interesting that they honestly believe a game with a lead female character simply can't sell as well as a game with a male hero. Added Morris:
"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."
Lara Croft has proven several times over that female characters can be popular, even when they're not oddly formed sex objects. Lara's recent more realistic overhaul didn't seem to make her any less popular; in fact, gamers seem to like this new Lara even more. So maybe publishers are still suffering from some backward-thinking.
Related Game(s): Remember Me