The article comes in the last few months before “Remember Me“‘s release, a dystopian cyberpunk action game with a mixed-race female lead.
“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,’” creative director Jean-Maxime Moris told Penny Arcade.
Surprising no one, unfortunately. The article goes on to talk a little more about the extreme imbalance regarding leads and gender in the industry:
Looking back at an earlier PA Report, data from video game research and consulting firm EEDAR showed that, from a sample of 669 current-gen games which had protagonists of a specific gender, only 24 of these were exclusively fronted by women.
Less than half had the option of a female lead, including games where you created your own character.
Seems pretty standard - again, unfortunately, this is what we’re used to.
Male-only hero games sold 25 per cent better than those with an optional female hero, and 75 per cent better than whose with a female-only hero.
But this doesn’t tell the whole story. These figures reflect the fact that games with female-only heroes get less than half the marketing budget of titles with male-only heroes.
“Games with a female-only protagonist got half the spending of female optional, and only 40 per cent of the marketing budget of male-led games. Less than that, actually,” Zatkin concluded.
That’s the truth, then - that the people choosing what game receives what marketing budget are helping continue a self-fulfilling prophecy. The majority of publishers continue down the safe route of funding male-only led games, comfortable in the knowledge that, because of this, male-only led games sell by the bucket load.
Remember Me, produced by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Capcom, launches for PC, 360 and PS3 on June 4 in the US, and June 7 in the UK. Check out the HD trailer here!
This is just ridiculous. There are so many games with female leads (whether they’re great female leads is debatable, but suffice it to say there are plenty of games starring ladies). I can’t believe some publisher literally said:
You can’t have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that.
How can someone think like this at all? This is just plain stupid. Sometimes I just don’t understand people.
Edit: Just to clear a few things up, this game is still being released, just a few potential publishers rejected it based on the main character. I’m so looking forward to playing this during the summer.