AAA Games won't feature gay protagonists for a long time, says Far Cry writer

Ubisoft Montreal lead writer Lucien Soulban says it won't happen for "a while" over fears that a gay or lesbian hero could negatively impact sales.

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This post contains spoilers about James Bond movie Skyfall. That might sound strange, but it's true.

AAA games aren't likely to feature openly gay protagonists anytime soon over fears that such characters could negatively impact a game's sales potential, according to Ubisoft Montreal lead writer Lucien Soulban, who most recently worked on Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

"When are we going to see that gay protagonist in a AAA game? Not for a while, I suspect, because of fears that it'll impact sales," Lucien told the Ubisoft Blog.

"So either we'll see a bait-and-switch like the original Metroid with Samus Aran where we'll find out damn near after the fact (PS: And Dumbledore was gay), or it'll come out of left field with Rockstar, Valve, Naughty Dog or Telltale, perhaps," he added. "But when it happens, I hope it's a serious take on it and not played up for jokes."

Lucien said a better question might be, "When are we going to get a gay/lesbian AAA hero(ine) who isn't a one-off joke?" One example Lucien cited of what he believes is poor execution of a gay character in a major entertainment franchise was Javier Bardem's role as the villain Silva in James Bond movie Skyfall.

"His character's sexuality was total shtick to satisfy one scene. Otherwise, he was a narcissist with mommy issues, and a pedophile to boot," Soulban said. "His 'seduction' of Bond was nothing more than vanity because Bond was his reflection, the new 'him.' Yay. So it bothers me when I hear people using his performance as a benchmark for diversity in entertainment, and I have heard it being bandied about."

So what's it going to take for the video game industry to get to a place where more gay characters are featured in major games? Soulban said it's already happening, albeit only on the periphery, at least right now.

"We'll definitely see more of them, and I think it's happening quietly. Look at the choices offered in Mass Effect 2 & 3, or Fable III, or Dragon Age II or Skyrim, the gay characters in Borderlands 2 who mention it without much fanfare, etc. Video games have stopped 'announcing' gay characters. They're introducing them without much fanfare in an effort to say, 'Yeah, it’s there and pretty normal.' Call it: 'We’re here, we're queer, and we’re busy working.'"

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

193 comments
Takeno456
Takeno456

I find it odd that they chose to use the crotch grabbing scene from the Blood Dragon intro to be the picture for the video. Especially given the topic of discussion in this article.

-esw-dragoon_77
-esw-dragoon_77

I think Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Skyrim had this situation handled correctly: give the option for the protagonist to swing both ways, but ultimately leave the decision to the player.

gargungulunk
gargungulunk

I don't care whose they are, I just want more hand-holding in games.

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

Honestly, I don't care about the gender or sexual orientation of the protagonists, but they shouldn't force that onto just any game. It has to make sense in the context of the game's story.

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

Didn't Fear Effect and Fear Effect 2 star lesbians?

zintarr
zintarr

Great...another "gaming" writer that has no clue about the content of other games. Its about as good as the writer that doesn't even like video games.

nurnberg
nurnberg

I demand a game where the main character is a morbidly obese midget.  The morbidly obese midgets are an oppressed group and deserve more rights.

hadlee73
hadlee73

I actually think Naughty Dog missed an opportunity when they didn't do a mini story DLC for The Last of Us starring the character of Bill, who was one of the more entertaining characters in the game.

Flamewolf75
Flamewolf75

*cough* mass effect, dragon age *cough*

Bregzeinkul
Bregzeinkul

No discrimination doesn't mean there must be black lesbians as playable characters. 

XxXeroxX
XxXeroxX

Let's all take a moment and picture COD having a transgender person dual-wielding a .44 magnum and the mission is to sabotage a ship with 40 guys on board...

Can't see it? Don't worry, nobody can.  

nigelholden
nigelholden

If putting a homosexual as a main protagonist is a goal for some, great. There are probably some very creative developers who would like to do that. The market side is where movement needs to happen. And it's not going to change because of forum comments, blogs, or youtube videos. It's all about money for publishers. If you aren't supporting the smaller projects that have what you want, if you don't buy the games that reflect your interest, then it's all just noise. 

anvilone
anvilone moderator

Wait, Rex Power Colt was straight ???

renerak
renerak

@gargungulunk  I am sorry, you *want* more handholding in games?? or is that sarcasm, I am hoping its sarcasm.

NTM23
NTM23

@GameBeaten  I don't think Fear Effect had introduced it in that, but the sequel. I could be wrong.

fede018
fede018

@zintarr he doesn't support your homophobic agenda so he's a bad writer?

ducklingboi
ducklingboi

@nurnberg  I hope someday your child will be an obese homosexual midget, and he will prove to be a better person than you.

renerak
renerak

@nurnberg  They already star in animes, whats was it called again, yeah "Accel World" staring a rotating blobber of wimpiness and fat. What more could you ask.

deadpen
deadpen

@nurnberg  Don't they already have a game like that? I believe it is called "Super Mario Bros."

edant79
edant79

@nurnberg Yeah, but we live in a world where it's not about what you 'deserve'....but how loud you can bitch and moan.

ducklingboi
ducklingboi

@Bregzeinkul  It's about reresentation. Not just discrimination. When lgbt people are not represented in a certain media, the consumers of that media wull have an easier time to discriminate against them. Invisibility is not a shield for lgbt people, in fact it is a weakness. It can only be overcome through representation.

Kickable
Kickable

@XxXeroxX so basically, it'd be the exact same feeling I'd get seeing a straight guy do it.

anvilone
anvilone moderator

@XxXeroxX Actually, I can see it. They serve in the military in real life, so it doesn't really take any imagination. The only thing hard to imagine is anyone dual wielding .44 magnums getting anything but killed in a heart beat.

RedWave247
RedWave247

@XxXeroxX  What would it matter? It's a FPS, anyway, so you can't even see the person you're controlling.

Besides, making them transgendered would give the character more depth than any CoD character has ever had.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@klonoa53 Why would that make you feel uncomfortable? people that are comfortable with their own sexuality are not bothered by other peoples, so if that makes you feel uneasy then perhaps it is because you are trying to suppress your own feelings.

RedWave247
RedWave247

@klonoa53  You don't mind them, and yet your choice of words to describe them says otherwise.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@renerak @gargungulunk He means it literally - you can hold other characters hands in fable 3 - not that he wants more games to be overly simplified and guide you every step of the way.

OneStrong2
OneStrong2

@ducklingboi @nurnberg  
He's better on the basis of what? The love of anal probing?

OneStrong2
OneStrong2

@ducklingboi @Bregzeinkul  
"Visibility" isn't a license for infusing homosexuality into everything. What is labeled as "discrimination" is homosexuals whining they're not the star of the show all the time. Defecation is a fact of life, do we need to start representing that in video games too?

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@renerak   Joseph wasn't married to Mary at that point. Also it's not called the virgin birth for nothing. No f***** required, because God doesn't have intercourse with people. Weirdo.


Also there's nothing in the bible about curing gays. Just about repentance and following God.

renerak
renerak

@deadpen @Spartan_418 @Flamewolf75  Don't you know, gayness is curable, its technical term is SSAD(Same sex attraction disorder), and apparently the cure is the Bible. Because ofcourse "THE GOD FORBITS IT" but he is okay with fucking other mans wife so his son can come into the world.