Dontnod Entertainment’s Sci-fi action title Remember Me staring Nilin, a memory hunter got a lot of rejections because of its female lead.
Speaking with Penny Arcade, creative director Jean-Max Morris said he felt the game’s protagonist Nilin was a natural fit for the title. Nonetheless, several publishers declined the game because of her gender, he said, before Capcom eventually picked it up.
“We had some [publishers] 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 said the decision to have a female lead was “something that just felt right from the beginning” of development. “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.”
Morris received lot of advice to switch Nilin from a girl to a guy, but changing Nilin would’ve been relatively impossible for the stage Remember Me was at. Still, hypothetically that change would’ve brought its own set of problems.
Even if Morris had changed Nilin to be male, it would had created another problem. “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,” Morris said. “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.”
He added, “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.”
“The world we were building was much more about emotion, intimacy, identity, and the way technology would intersect those. It just felt like the other side of the coin, the yin and the yang, and it just made sense to us that it would be a female character,” Morris concluded.
Remember Me will launch on June 4 in North America and June 7 in Europe for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
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