Remember Me's protagonist is female, and some publishers didn't like that
- Posted March 18th, 2013 at 21:33 EDT by Kyle Prahl
- 14 Comments
Capcom's cyberpunk adventure Remember Me will star Nilin, an amnesiac heroine in search of lost memories, when it launches this June. And we're lucky to see it: a Penny Arcade interview reveals that publishers weren't fond of Nilin in the game's early development stages.
Creative Director Jean-Max Morris gave the lowdown to PAR's Sophie Prell. "It was not a decision. It was something that just felt right from the beginning," he explained. "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."
When Dontnod Entertainment reached out to publishers, it was met with cold reception: "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.'” Morris and his co-horts held fast. "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," he detailed. "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, Dontnod found a willing publisher in Capcom. Now, the studio's vision can proceed unimpeded. "I'm like, 'If you think like that, there's no way the medium's going to mature,'" he continued. "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 full, excellent interview with Morris, which includes details on Remember Me's cyberpunk setting, transhumanism, and the intersection of technology with emotion and intimacy, can be found over at Penny Arcade Report.
Let us know what you think of the industry's reaction to Nilin's sex in the comments below. Is it time for publishers to ignore market trends in favor of advancing the medium and giving female characters fair treatment?
Why does is feel like immersion in this game is tacked on. Its one thing to make a statement with your work, but I lose interest when your work becomes ABOUT making a statement. Don't be making us kiss guys in games, JUST because you can. Hate when developers do that. It better have meaning and not be like those sitcoms with interracial relationships that end up stilted because there is no other point to it other than the fact of what it is. Lame.I was once interested in this game but now its sorta shaky since I saw more gameplay for it.
- 9:53pm EDT - March 18th, 2013
Equinoqs | Equinoqs
- 10:02pm EDT - March 18th, 2013
Heavenly Sword? Mirror's Edge? TOMB RAIDER?
- 10:22pm EDT - March 18th, 2013
@2 Things ARE getting better, but the industry has a long way to go.
- 10:47pm EDT - March 18th, 2013
Until they point out the actual publishers that used the particular point of this game having a female protagonist for not wanting to publish it, I'm calling it a cheap publicity stunt.
There are more ways than sex scenes to push the medium forward. It's funny how a matured medium mainly means more skin-show rather than any insightful or thought-provoking social commentary.
That last part isn't directed at the developer at hand per-se, but more of a general statement of my feelings toward the misuse of the word 'mature' in entertainment.
- 11:09pm EDT - March 18th, 2013
It's a shame publishers feel this way. And how the flipping leamers does having a protag of the opposite sex kiss someone of you gender make you feel wierd? This is just getting plain silly with a dose of ridiculousnes on top.
- 11:26pm EDT - March 18th, 2013
It's not that they have romance scenes, those are necessary as we humans have that as a part of who we are. What I was referring to was the misuse of said kissing/romance scenes tacked-on in gameplay just for the sake of it, if it makes sense and has a narrative purpose then yes it should be included, but if a developer approaches a particular section of the game with the thought of somehow shoehorning romance into it just so he/she can consider it more 'mature' then those tacked-on experiences feel awkward.
- 1:06am EDT - March 19th, 2013
I sincerely hope this is merely a publicity stunt. I would hate to learn that developers are actually opposed to female protagonists. I can understand it on an economic stand point since most gamers are men, but I still don't think it makes too much sense. A large proportion of male gamers willingly choose to play female characters when giving the choice. As for their reasons, that's their business.
And as for men feeling akward having a female character kiss another individual, even if it's male, is just ridiculous. She's female. The majority of females are straight, so it's only natural. I've never heard of someone feeling akward while watching a movie just because the main female protagonist has a romantical relationship with a male. Why should a game be any different? This is certainly a sad occurence, and reflects poorly human's capabilities to understand one another.
(as PS3-The Ultimate Machine has been saying, however, there are exceptions. If things are tacked on just to be there, then sure, it can be irritating. But that reality is present for any material that's just thrown in for the heck of it, sexual or not)
- 3:13am EDT - March 19th, 2013
It's just unfortunate that certain elements of a game can actually be detrimental to it's own development. In response to the poor reception of a female protagonist, I hope it didn't go down like that-it's been proven time and time again that female characters can succeed, and they deserve the opportunity to do so. I just enjoy great game experiences regardless of what gender, or species the lead character is...but I also understand when certain parties don't want to invest- I mean afterall you want to protect your investment right? it's just bitter-sweet, hopefully we're moving towards a more happy medium (fingers crossed)
- 6:48am EDT - March 19th, 2013
Well there's female characters and then there's female cgharacters. Most female characters in computer games are there to flash some flesh while you play the game. With all due respect Nilin in Remember Me does appear to be a step above most female character in games, insofar as she actually appear to have more depth to her than a pair of gravity defying b00bs!!!
Whether games publishers had a problem with this though is a different matter entirely. I am struggling somewhat to buy that. Would EA turn a game down because it had a strong female protagonist? Take Two Interactive / Rockstar? Ubisoft? Activision? I don't know I really don't. We all know the industry does have issues when it comes to the portrayal of females and the roles they 'play' in games. No question it's getting better but we still have a long way to go... I just find it hard to believe that a publisher would turn a game down because it had a strong female protagonist.
If it is true, then we have far greater problems in this industry than anyone thinks. I've been interested int he concept of Remember Me from day 1, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of the game and whether the whole memory rewiting / stealing mechanic is actually integral to the game or just a tacked on cool idea that isn't fully developed. Some of the action seqences we've now seen do look third person adventure 101 and my interest in the game has cooled somewhat. I'll await with interest the first few reviews.
- 8:40am EDT - March 19th, 2013
This reminds me of a certain character in a certain game about raiding tombs! And see how that turned out! If the main lead is female, than if there are any romantic relationships in the game story arc, I would expect it to be a guy (Purely from a mainstream perpective!). So, I see nothing wrong with it. And it is pretty funny that in this day and age, any company or publisher would say "No, no. A female lead character wouldn't work".
The_Snake91 | pepelyanka_85
- 8:42am EDT - March 19th, 2013
Actually i like it very much she's hot
Eliphaz Levi | Eliphaz
- 10:21am EDT - March 19th, 2013
We need more ips. Period. I've been watching this one for awhile and hope it turns enough profit to keep moving itself forward- or atleast provide impetus for more ips. Having said that though; I think some of these comments are reading into the scene described a bit much; I'll have to read the original article/interview to be sure, but from what I gathered here it seemed like backstory or more fleshing (bad pun) out of the character rather then 'tacked on' gimmick.
- 11:55am EDT - March 19th, 2013
Effing ridiculous, but at the same time there are so many people out there that scream "I don't want to play as a girl!" and these are probably the people those developers are catering too, which is why we've had an over abundance of shaven head brute force bros lately which frankly doesnt fit ANY demographic that actually plays video games. You're just playing a game not playing a role where you have to act like the person you're playing as! So what if the protagonist is female, that doesnt mean you have to go out and kiss a dude just because she does, that's not what immersion is about, it's about being drawn into the story and the gameplay and wanting to see what happens next. I actually WANT to know which publishers had this problem so I know which ones have no idea how to properly immerse players.
- 9:04pm EDT - April 11th, 2013
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!