Remember Me developer struggled with publishers over inclusion of female hero

Remember Me

By on March 20, 2013 at 11:42 am

Dontnod Entertainment have revealed that their decision to base Remember Me around a female protagonist caused them to stumble into roadblocks with a number of publishers, who flatly told them a game without a male lead wouldn’t work.

“We had some [companies] that said, ‘Well, we don’t want to publish it because that’s not going to succeed,’” said creative director Jean-Maxime Moris to the Penny Arcade Report. “‘You can’t have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that.’”

The inclusion of a female lead was apparently particularly problematic when it came to her private life, which involved flashbacks to romantic scenes. “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,” said Moris.

“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.’”

Fortunately Capcom weren’t bothered by this at all, and opted to publish the game — which you can buy on June 7 this year.

Source: PA Report

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30 comments (Leave your own)

Good. Stuff what publishers think anyway. Old dinosaurs.

 

Wait, you can’t have a…female lead…in a game…am I missing something here? That’s just absolute rubbish!

 

linkin93:
Good. Stuff what publishers think anyway. Old dinosaurs.

Couldn’t agree more. No wonder the gaming industry can’t move forward.

 

Indeed! Because Tomb raider has been absolutely panned and criticised by critics everywhere as being abhorrent because Lara Isn’t Larry!
Oh wait.

Further drives my face palmed hand into my forehead as this supports my “Publishers are idiots” theory.

 

They do have a point on having your female character kissing another guy making people feel uncomfortable though.
You live as that female character and act to be her within the game, then all of a sudden you’re in some romance flashback with another guy.
Guess they gotta execute it right.
Hell, kisses in general are out of place in action oriented video games.

 

pyrokov,

that point must only affect you, because it wouldn’t affect me. It’s a playable story, the main character of that story is female. Surely you can tell the difference between her kissing a dude in the story and it not actually being you the one kissing the dude? right? surely? I mean come on, yeah?

 

pyrokov,

No more awkward than my Femshep kissing Garus and being told by my friendly Salarian Doctor to… “..Not ingest any …fluids”

Not exactly the first time I’ve played a female in a game.

I’d like to think we’re all mature enough to ‘handle’ and understand how these flashback snippets help the overall narrative – being that it’s a game entirely about the loss of memories and such.

 

How is it any more awkward than having male character kiss another male character?.. didn’t stop bioware..

So I don’t get why the fuck these publishers are acting like it could be a big deal.. I think gamers have proven not to give a fuck so long as its optional.

 

pyrokov:

Hell, kisses in general are out of place in action oriented video games.

Man this part really annoys me. In most action movies I’ve watched, there’s always been time to get a quick one in. That generally involves kissing…

It’s like you’re too macho to show even one tiny emotion. Trust me, kissing evokes all sorts of glorious emotions.

 
Lord_PorkSword

Honestly I’d rather watch, and play, a sexy female figure over a male figure evey time I get the chance!
…and the whole kissing issue seems rather overly homophobic if you ask me. It’s quite bizzare that they’d think most gamers would have an issue with their female computer character kissing a man? I find that kind of stupidity rather amusing!

But then again, maybe I hold my expectation of some fellow gamers too highly. Which could explain why COD does move a lot of units each year…boyaaahhh! :P

Old dinosaurs indeed!

 

vcatkiller,

The 3rd Birthday, Mirror’s Edge, Metroids, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, Hydrophobia Prophecy, Tomb Raiders, Most RPGs, Portals, Amy, Alices, Beyond: Two Souls, Lollipop Chainsaw (LOL) Knytt Underground, Bayonetta, Velvet Assassin, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, Gravity Rush, Transistor, Silent Hill 3, Medal of Honor: Underground, Final Fantasy XIIIs, Trauma, Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale, Heavy Rain, King’s Bounty: Armored Princess, WET, Heavenly Sword, Beyond Good & Evil, BloodRayne…

 

PinothyJ,

Yeah but apart from those several thousand examples you gave, how many games have women leads? They couldn’t possibly exist, could they? :P

Actually a mass amount of those examples sprang to mind when reading the article, I’m not quite sure what the publishers would be thinking coming out with such a stupid statement. I was actually wondering if there were a bunch of other defining points that separates the “Remember Me” lead character from those games you listed but I couldn’t think of any. I jumped over to the article expecting, at some level, to have a statement like “we can’t have a female lead that *fill in something she has the other female leads don’t have in common*” but it just didn’t happen.

 

Tomb raider is a very bad example as a female lead as she is basically just eye candy for the gamer if she had b cup boobs and wore suitable attire i doubt it would of been published as a game

 

If people don’t take issue with playing sadistic homicidal maniacs in various games they shouldn’t take issue with playing a female kissing a male. A neurotypical person should be able to role play as a character without needing to identify as the character.

If one is unable to do this, they are probably the type of person who shouldn’t be consuming any media involving depictions of violence or other immoral behaviour.

 

I’m somewhat surprised he said that, after all female player characters are hardly unheard of. LC, Mirror’s Edge, Beyond Good and Evil (She mucked about with an anthropomorphic pig, never bothered anyone at the time) and a number of other adventure games seemed to feature, without any apparent loss of sales.

Plus pretty much any RPG will have a numerous female character types, hell any multiplayer shooter not trying to be ultra military will have the option, dating back 15 years to tribes, Unreal etc…

Gotta wonder if he’s not trying to stir some attention up for his game.

 

kinkykel,

I’d be fine with it if the story was deep, but if it’s mainly action oriented then I don’t think romance has much of a place. Imagine Call of Duty, except there’s scenes concerning your family or spouse. it would be… unfitting to say the least.

 

capcom wins.

 

jcbrovz:
Tomb raider is a very bad example as a female lead as she is basically just eye candy for the gamer if she had b cup boobs and wore suitable attire i doubt it would of been published as a game

LOL the original Tomb Raider had the huge boobs due to a percentage error, that was kept as a “feature” (or is that two features…). The current Tomb Raider has a much more gritty look with a much more balanced Lara. Oh and since when has Gina Carano had B Cups. She’s a damn MMA fighter…

 

jcbrovz,

Boy this gets my goat! Everyone bashes on Tomb Raider as if it nothing more than misogynistic tripe. It is incredibly offensive to hear you and all those millions of other people attack a person or character just because of their breast size. Clothing is another thing entirely. How is what Croft wearing inappropriate? In the Summer here where I live, ladies wear those shorts all the time because it is cool and comfortable — I did not realise what they were doing was so inappropriate. From what I remember of my Tomb Raiding days, she usually ended up in some sweltering tropical temple somewhere, needing to perform some feat of agility that required unrestricted movement. What would be more appropriate? Long pants? Jolie already wore those in her adaptation and that was apparently too offensive also. Maybe she should spend her money on a breasts reduction surgery, to please you, maybe that would make her a bit more feminine.

Your comments are offensive and you should feel like a pig for making them. Croft was made because the developers were sick of men, men, men being in every single lead role. If anything, if Croft was ever made to look sleazy it was by the unfortunate marketing from Edios.

“It was never the intention to create some kind of ‘page 3′ girl to star in Tomb Raider. The idea was to create a female character who was a heroine, you know, cool, collected, in control, that sort of thing. The problem with those other games is that the female characters are actually there for purely exploitative purposes. I know you could argue that Lara with her comic book style over-the top figure is exploitative, but I don’t agree. I think it’s ridiculous to say that portraying stylised people is degrading. You can represent an over the top hero figure by augmenting characteristics like a jutting jaw, wide shoulders, thin waist etc. and that is not degrading to men. It may well be a stereotype, but it seems to me that people are over-analysing this whole thing. It’s pretty simple, if women in a game are only there to be the equivalent of quiz show floozies then they are being portrayed in a sexist way.” Toby Gard (Croft’s creator)

Croft is the female argument as much as (Rocksteady’s) Batman is to the male’s…

 

It’s really sad that publishers seem to be completely committed to keeping the Cis-White-Male as a default when there is quite literally a world of people out there who could easily get into gaming more if presented with more identifiable figures.

I think Lara has plenty of problems in terms of how she’s marketed and the male-centric gaze most of her content has but I’d still rather be seeing her around than just another NathanSolidSnakeSamFisherMaxSteelScottMitchellMarcusFenix.

(Also we really need to make better names for our characters)

 
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