A very interesting story has emerged about Remember Me, the upcoming third person action game from DONTNOD. Playstation Lifestyle have reported on an interview Jean-Max Morris, Creative Director on the game who has said that Nilin being female was “something that just felt right from the beginning. 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.”
Worryingly Jean-Max continues to say, in his interview with Penny Arcade, that publishers passed on the come from a marketing perspective:
“We had some 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.’”
If Jean-Max and the developers did go back and change Nilin’s gender to a male, it would produce another headache for the developer as the developers:
“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.”
The reaction from publishers to this is unsurprising, judging by the initial request with Jean-Max stating that publishers reaction to this as:
“’You can’t make a dude like the player kiss another dude in the game, that’s going to feel awkward.’”
Jean-Max response was a warning to the video games industry as a whole with his response to these publishers as:
“I’m like, ‘If you think like that, there’s no way the medium’s going to mature,’”
He finished the interview by saying more about Remember Me is unlike other cyberpunk games through the world they’ve created and the aim for them is that:
“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.”
Remember Me was originally being published by Sony but they passed on it due to a difference of opinion in terms of the direction the game was going. It is highly likely these publishers passing on the game occurred while DONTNOD were shopping the title to publishers after it had been dropped by Sony. Remember Me will be released on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on June 4th in North America and June 7th in Europe.
Hugh Simmonds is an editor for Analog Addiction, follow him on Twitter or MyIGN to see him slowly turn into an emotional wreck courtesy of Sunderland with rehab of cooking for one and straight to DVD movies.