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"Other Publishers Told Us to Make It a Male Lead Character," Life is Strange Dev Says

chadskin

Member

Remember Me developer Dontnod Entertainment previously said that it's not trying to make a statement by putting female characters in lead roles, but that doesn't mean doing so is easy.

According to a recently released developer diary for the game, Dontnod encountered some resistance to the idea from publishers.

"Square is basically the only publisher who didn't want to change anything about the game," Dontnod Creative Director Jean-Maxime Moris said. "We had other publishers telling us to make it a male lead character, and Square didn't even question that once."

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/other-publishers-told-us-to-make-it-a-male-lead-ch/1100-6424577/

We've had a thread about the developer diary already but I imagine not everyone saw it and the topic itself is discussion-worthy.
 

Vylash

Member
I remember hearing that naughty dog had to fight tooth and nail just to get Ellie on the cover of the last of us, ridiculous
 

JayEH

Junior Member
I feel like they had a similar story with Remember Me and Capcom but I could be wrong. Interesting that it's the Japanese publishers who are ok with a lead female.
 

Nanashrew

Banned
I'd be really curious to see the list of publishers they went to. I can understand why Square would be okay with it though because they often have great ensemble casts with a roughly even mix of men and women, and even have games with lead actresses.
 
I really can't wrap my head around this kind of thing.

Not once has the gender of the main character ever influenced my decision to buy a game or not. Is it really such an issue? Is there really such a large part of the audience out there that is put off by playing a female role?

It's just baffling. I mean how does the mind process of that person even work?

Someone provide me a sad yet humourous internal monologue of some idiot who wouldn't buy a game because the main character isn't a dude, otherwise I'll never get it.
 

Squire

Banned
I'd be really curious to see the list of publishers they went to. I can understand why Square would be okay with it though because they often have great ensemble casts with a roughly even mix of men and women, and even have games with lead actresses.

Not that you're wrong (because you're not), these guys would be dealing SE Europe/Eidos. One of their biggest IPs is Tomb Raider, so them telling studios not to use female protagonists wouldn't look good at all.
 
Good on Square for not wanting the devs to make the main characters Male. Not enough games feature strong Female protagnonists. I havent heard of this game before, but I'm sort of interested having watched the video now.
 

RiccochetJ

Gold Member
Personally I want my protagonists to be voiced by Jennifer Hale or Laura Bailey instead of Nolan North or Troy Baker.
 
Good on...Square??

Man, that sounds very strange. Still, I'm glad DONTNOD didn't have the change their vision on who the protagonist should be.
 

Nanashrew

Banned
Not that you're wrong (because you're not), these guys would be dealing SE Europe/Eidos. One of their biggest IPs is Tomb Raider, so them telling studios not to use female protagonists wouldn't look good at all.

Ah, that's right! I was thinking of the wrong studio.
 
I really can't wrap my head around this kind of thing.

Not once has the gender of the main character ever influenced my decision to buy a game or not. Is it really such an issue? Is there really such a large part of the audience out there that is put off by playing a female role?

It's just baffling. I mean how does the mind process of that person even work?

Someone provide me a sad yet humourous internal monologue of some idiot who wouldn't buy a game because the main character isn't a dude, otherwise I'll never get it.

Because having a female character makes the risk bigger, and pubs are all about minimizing the risk. I do not mind playing as a female character, in fact when I have the choice I often times go with it; however, we'd be lying if we said that the concensus on this forum is indicative of the bigger picture. Think about who these pubs are trying to target, teenage boys. They're not going to want to play as a girl because it's "not cool" or whatever. I'd wager that most of the guys who don't mind are 20+ (though not all of course).

Essentially, I can't totally blame. If I was calling the shots and knew that having a female character would lead to more risk and/or lower revenue then I'd change it in a heartbeat

That doesn't make it right, of course and I'm not saying we shouldn't critcize them.
 
Why can't they just compromise and make her a 30-something grizzled woman with brown hair, stubble and a gravelly voice? Everybody wins.
 
Not that you're wrong (because you're not), these guys would be dealing SE Europe/Eidos. One of their biggest IPs is Tomb Raider, so them telling studios not to use female protagonists wouldn't look good at all.

Even then, if one steps back from all the lolcontroversy over FFXV's lack of playable female blahblahblah among other things (like Hitman's Nun Squad), Square's history of females in video games is pretty good.

Ultimately, it's hard and unfair to funnel these kind of things into a linear assumption that cuts across the board.
 
Sadly, there are comparatively few big budget games with female leads that are commercially successful.

I know of Metroid and Tomb Raider. I am sure there are more. I guess you could argue Final Fantasy but they have many male lead characters.

I wonder what would happen if GTA VI had only female protagonists?
 

kirblar

Member
Honestly I don't get where all these female resistance come from? So ridiculous. What are these pubs thinking
Demographics and identity preferences. There's a certain % of the population that is going to prefer media where they see some component of their identity represented in the lead. (Same reason you have people who loooove Bro-country or Tyler Perry films.) Given the male-leaning playerbase, you're going to have more males than females, and thus more males with these preferences than females, making it a potential turn-off to them. Publishers are risk-averse and want to maximize appeal, and so you end up with them wanting to push for the lowest-common-denominator option.
 

StoneFox

Member
Honestly I don't get where all these female resistance come from? So ridiculous. What are these pubs thinking
"The young adult male demographic won't buy a game with a woman lead" probably. Which sounds pretty dumb but it's a real thought process in the industry.
 

barit

Member
It's pretty awful to know that publishers can decide what is in your game and what not. I mean if I have a idea or game to sell as developer you better buy the whole thing or don't bother with it in the first place. It's like some car dealers telling Mercedes Benz that the new S class needs different seats or they don't sell it. Dafuq?
 

Zolbrod

Member
You know what's strange? COD allows for female multiplayer characters
When ACTIVISION is more progressive than you then it's a problem

That's very different from making a single player game with a female protag though.
Most games where you can choose your avatar have female characters nowadays.
But how many COD games have female protags in the main campaign?

And yes, Japanese devs and publishers are WAY less fussy about this.
 

Kikujiro

Member
You know what's strange? COD allows for female multiplayer characters
When ACTIVISION is more progressive than you then it's a problem

Are there games that don't allow female multiplayer characters? I can only think of Unity, but in that case everybody is the same character (Arno).
Activision would be progressive if they made you play as a female soldier in the campaign, having both genders in multiplayer is pretty standard.
 
Are there games that don't allow female multiplayer characters? I can only think of Unity, but in that case everybody is the same character (Arno).
Activision would be progressive if they made you play as a female soldier in the campaign, having both genders in multiplayer is pretty standard.

Battlefield still hasn't done it, even though there are female NPCs in campaigns.
 

someday

Banned
Demographics and identity preferences. There's a certain % of the population that is going to prefer media where they see some component of their identity represented in the lead. (Same reason you have people who loooove Bro-country or Tyler Perry films.) Given the male-leaning playerbase, you're going to have more males than females, and thus more males with these preferences than females, making it a potential turn-off to them. Publishers are risk-averse and want to maximize appeal, and so you end up with them wanting to push for the lowest-common-denominator option.
Yeah, and when girls check out video games and only see male characters on 99% of the game covers it sort of ends up being a self fulfilling prophesy that gaming is a male environment.
 

Endo Punk

Member
They also played the same card with that Remember Me game. Maybe stop making a big deal about the lead and start developing compelling gameplay. Anyway at least they realise they can't do justice to beat'em ups when they really just want to tell stories, in that respect Life is Strange seems to be playing to their strengths rather than weaknesses. Hope it does well for them but they do need to stop trying to get these sympathy votes from gamers and let the game speak for itself.
 

ArtHands

Thinks buying more servers can fix a bad patch
Not surprise considering ff13, tomb raider and bravely default main leads are female
 
Life Strange also has one more notable quality. It is the first game where the cinematic influence is Indie films as opposed to big Hollywood blockbusters like the rest of the industry. Indie Games on the other hand are rarely cinematic or don't copy film styles

I'm surprised this is still a thing in a world where Lara Croft exists.

You'd think all the horny teens would want to play as a hot chick in 3rd person rather than a ugly bald man
 
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