Mike Laidlaw of BioWare has talked about how the studio has looked at The Last of Us and The Darkness and learned that sex should not be the ultimate goal of in-game relationships.
In an interview with IGN Laidlaw admitted that in previous BioWare games the aim of forming a relationship with an NPC was to have sex with them. This is changing for Dragon Age: Inquisition.
“The most romantic moment in a video game that I’ve ever seen is when Jackie visits his girlfriend’s apartment in The Darkness,” Laidlaw said.
“She baked me a cake, she’s moving in, and you watch possibly the entirety of To Kill a Mockingbird as she passes out on your lap because she’s tired and snuggly. That is amazing.
“[That scene] is as close as video games came to that first ten minutes of Up. Both scenes share the same purpose of making the audience think, ‘I really care about this character – aw, f**k,’ and their motivations change.”
The non-sexual relationship between Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us also proved a powerful influence, showing the team that you can care about NPC’s in a platonic way, as if they were real people.
These experiences made the team set new goals for relationships in Dragon Age: Inquisition. “Let’s not have gifts that buy affection. Let’s not have sex be the end goal. Let’s instead try and reach for something that’s like genuine affections and let you go up and say, ‘Hey you, we’re going to kiss now.’ And let players enjoy that, and feel like, yeah, that’s a real thing.”
Dragon Age: Inquisition is due for release on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360 on November 18 in North America and November 21 in Europe.