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Remember Me: publishers told dev ‘female characters don’t sell’, before signing with Capcom

Tuesday, 19th March 2013 09:26 GMT By Dave Cook

Remember Me studio Dontnod Entertainment was advised by several publishers that making lead character Nilin female would result in weak sales, and that a male star would fare better. However it stuck to its guns and kept Nilin female before signing a deal with Capcom.

Speaking with Penny Arcade, creative director Jean-Maxime Moris recalled, “We had some [companies] 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 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.’”

Moris went on to say that this kind of close-mindedness is holding the industry back, “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.

“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.”

The comments come as the debate around gender and orientation equality in gaming continues. A few weeks ago EA held its first ‘Full Spectrum’ event in New York, where Kixeye’s executive producer Carly Shaw warned that gaming was still very much a ‘white dude’ industry.

What’s your take?

Remember Me launches on PS3 and Xbox 360 in the US on June 4, and across Europe on June 7.

Thanks Gi.biz.

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14 Comments

  1. Djoenz

    Oh publishers… That is so retarded. I remember in my old MMOrpg days I always wondered why ppl chose female chars over male ones. Someone told me I want something nice to look at while im playing.

    I tried it myself and found myself loving female chars.

    Tomb Raider was fantastic. Publishers are retarded. Good female protagonists are rare though.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Judicas

    The thing is… this game isn’t going to sell very well at all, but it has nothing to do with the lead char being female and everything to do with the fact it looks truly terrible in vids. It sucks that publishers could possibly use this as an example of why you shouldn’t have a female lead when tomb raider clearly shows you can!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    Tomb Raider, trolololol. But then again, the game has an established franchise.

    I’m actually thinking Remember Me will sell poorly.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. foofly

    Remember Me is looking very much like a pre order for me. That’s rare these days. Perhaps I’m alone in thinking it looks like a solid third person action adventure?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. zinc

    Well no, if they don’t exist, they won’t sell will they?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. sh4dow

    @3: And how did that franchise begin?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. roadkill

    I’m not buying this! I don’t think having a male or female lead in this type of game makes any difference. I think this is just a PR stunt. If they would actually care about females they would dress them accordingly. Like without heels! Pieces of armor that show less? High heels? No. In real life men and women wear almost the same armor. No one cares about how they look. They care about protection and mobility.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. stlthriot

    I’m with you foofly!! This game looks amazing imo! I love the setting and the music is excellent! Definitely pre-ordering and picking up on day one. :)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Clupula

    Have no interest in this game, as it looks pretty bland to me. BUT I will say when given a choice between male and female protagonists, I usually choose the female one.

    There are many reasons, but the chief being no one ever tries to give the Solid Snake/Christian Bale Batman voice to a female protagonist (I’m looking at you, Adam Jensen).

    #9 2 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    @6: As an Indy Ripoff with never before seen gameplay. Something Remember Me is lacking.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Djoenz

    Ive seen the Remember Me gameplay tease and honestly it doesnt make me want to pre order it nor buy day 1 already lmao.

    I had tht with Watchdogs though!!!

    #11 2 years ago
  12. TheBlackHole

    Love how EVERYONE uses Tomb Raider when defending comments like this. Portal is the only success I can think of and you barely ever see her. You could, for all intents and purposes, be anyone in that game.

    Look at other fairly recent top games with female characters…

    Bayonetta – amazing reviews, poor sales
    Heavenly Sword – good reviews, poor sales
    Mirror’s Edge – good reviews, poor sales
    Wet – crap all round
    Okami – amazing reviews, poor sales
    Heavy Rain (optional) – great reviews, average sales (certainly lower than expected)
    Beyond Good and Evil – brilliant reviews, poor sales
    Enslaved (not primary, but still a strong playable character), good reviews, poor sales

    I’m sure there are more, but there are plenty of excellent games here that didn’t sell, all with female leads.

    Now, I’m NOT saying the lead gender was the cause, but given how few games are released with female leads, it’s very telling that so few of them were successful despite being critically acclaimed.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Eddie Rodrigues

    Games with Female characters won’t sell a game? REAAAAALLY? Metroid, Bayonetta, Ninja Gaiden 2, RE Games, Mirror’s Edge, Portal, any RPG where you can create Female protagonists, Final Fantasy games, mainly VI and XIII, Phantasy Star, SO GOES ON THE LIST.

    There aren’t a great percentage of female protagonists (in games where you can’t create your own PC I mean), but it is almost 35% and the number keeps increasing. I do only hope it ain’t because of harcore Feminists like the so called “gamer” Feminist Frequency, but female PCs and male PCs are both enjoyable as long as the character is likable and the game is good/excellent, and the first would be more welcome in today’s society, so there isn’t much trouble adding them. Unless the players are idiots.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. budoshi

    That would certainly explain why such many players want Lara croft to be gay.
    Some hetero male gamers apparently can’t handle the thought of playing as a female character who becomes intimate with a male character. Take that as you will…

    #14 2 years ago

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