It's a sad state we find ourselves in, when Developers have to struggle against publishers JUST to have a female protagonist in their game.
What the hell happened?
I know games have always been more or less male focused, but it feels like something did change in this generation when the COD's came in and brought with them the "age of the sausage fest" .Testosterone fuled shooting galleries. The "white male protagonist" became the standard and anything that deviated from that was not acceptable...to publishers at least, because that's what they think everyone wants, and that is what gets made.
Can you name a game this generation that had a female protagonist AND hit that sweet spot of financial and critical success? because I can only think of one. Tomb Raider, and lets be honest that game only got made because of its title...."Tomb Raider". Without that name and brand recognition it would have had no chance.
Sure Mirrors Edge has some really cool stuff going for it, but that games was flawed, other games like Beyonetta or Heavenly sword might be considered good but they weren't huge successes, for things to really change it has to do both, that's how trends are set, and the current trends are in desperate need of change. Because I don't know how many Nathan Drake lookalikes I can handle before I burn my computer, swear off games and find a new hobby...like knitting
But I'm getting off topic here, what I was referring too at the start was the upcoming game "Remember Me" which *gasp* stars a non-white female character, a complete oddity in this day and age, apparently the developers were outright told that "no...you can't have a female protagonist. it will upset the dudebros"
am I the only one that finds that seriously sad and pathetic?
why is this? who do we blame? the Publishers or the Audience? aside from it being a chicken/egg scenario I personally think its a symptom of the same problem, a serious lack of risk taking. Its the reason Mass Effect became less RPG focused and gained multiplayer, its the reason Dead Space 3 got the treatment it did.....everyone's riding the COD train, or to be fair everyone's going for what's perceived as "popular" hell I just remembered now the new Tomb Raider has multiplayer...I never played it but its there. Why do you think they put multiplayer to a game like tomb raider? I think you already know the answer.
Aside from all this, what really gets me are the excuses people make for this kind of thing. "Gamers" start getting uncomfortable, they try and push the Idea that this ISN'T a problem, acting like there is some scary force with an "agenda" that will come in and force developers to make female characters to fill some kind of quota...yeah
are you fucking kidding me?
aside from the possibility of that happening (which is about as likely as someone reading this and giving me a million dollars to write another one) the fact that your basing this on the Idea of "artistic integrity" (that the developers should be free to create what they wish to create) is good and all...but absolutely ridiculous
the AAA industry HAS no artistic integrity, not when the makers of Bioshock infinite had to put Elizabeth on the back of the box and "whats his name" striking some badass pose on the front .Not when we still can't have women running around having "Agency" and shit, that just confuses some poor guy and puts him at risk of catching "teh gay"
"I" and many others are not condemning all gamers or the developers as evil, and we don't want to have females in every game just for the sake of it (maybe I would if I had the power but then...I'm still waiting for my million dollars) I simply believe creators should be able to (within reason) create the kinds of games and characters they want, and that the is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the industry when you are outright told you can't have a female protagonist
and for the other argument "maybe they are just giving players what they want" again, chicken and egg. Good games with female protagonists don't get made, so they don't get bought. You can't tell me playing as a female makes gamers brains explode when Tomb Raider did so well, also perhaps "pandering to what's perceived as popular" ISN'T the best strategy for making games? are you honestly OK with games becoming a bland mix of stupid? are you OK with the industry itself treating you like some socially stunted man-child that gets seizures in the presence of a women? doesn't the general public and sensationalist media already do that?