Dragon Age writer: We're not backing away from supporting queer gamers

"Categorically not true," writer David Gaider says.

Dragon Age: Inquisition senior writer David Gaider has responded to claims that BioWare is in some way backing away from supporting queer gamers. "Categorically not true," Gaider, a 15-year BioWare veteran, wrote on his official blog.

He explained: "I understand there are some people who prefer the idea of being able to romance any character who is able to be romanced, with any [playable character]. That may have been a happy by-product of the system in Dragon Age 2, for them, but that was not its purpose. Its purpose was to allow more than one option for every type of player, no matter who they were. That remains our goal."

Gaider reiterated that Dragon Age: Inquisition will have gay, bi-sexual, and straight characters. He wouldn't say which group is the most numerous or divulge any other details, but he says that having a diverse character lineup helps BioWare tell better stories.

"That allows us to tell more types of character stories without having to resort to ambiguity. Those stories exist for players who don't romance the characters as well, and that's also important," Gaider said. "The rest will come as we discuss this aspect of the game in detail, but I'd hope the Dragon Age's team's expressed interest in inclusivity would provide us some benefit of the doubt until that happens."

Gaider also responded to a fan who asked, "Why is gender the only limiting factor when trying to make 'realistic' romances?" He said fans shouldn't jump to conclusions when BioWare has not yet released full details about how the romance system in Dragon Age: Inquisition will work.

"Who says it's the only limiting factor? We've not said how the romances will work at all, so that's quite the assumption," Gaider said. "I understand the concern about possibly ending up with the 'short end of the stick', but I'm not sure where the [Dragon Age] team has yet given the impression that will be so. I'm not going to tell you your concerns don't have validity--I'm actually quite familiar with how it feels to have my interests treated as a secondary concern when it comes to popular entertainment--but I'm hoping that concern need not equate with panic at this point. We've got a lot of time yet to discuss this."

Gaider went on to say that BioWare doesn't form its character relationship dynamics around what is "realistic."

"That's not a bar the [Dragon Age] team uses to judge any of our content--not in a fantasy game. There's an argument that can be made about internal plausibility within the setting, but the realism [Dragon Age producer Cameron Lee] was trying to talk about in that interview was with regards to character depictions and the variety of viewpoints that can be touched on depending on the approach. I hope that's clear. If not, it's something we'll certainly be discussing more in the months to come."

Dragon Age: Inquisition launches October 7 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. For more on the role-playing game, be sure to read GameSpot's previous coverage.

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

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Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

312 comments
Kratier
Kratier

LLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL

illusion4
illusion4

I'm going to be very disappointed if I can't romance Cullen as a male... I've been wanting to since DAO! That being said, I'm glad they're paying attention to gender this time, rather than making the romances the same regardless of the PC's gender. That's a bit unrealistic!

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

They should make most of the characters reject your advances so that its realistic. 


Some characters should also just friendzone you.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

I don't understand the amount of attention given to a relatively insignificant part of the game. I mean I think having relationships does add something to the game, but it's only a small aspect.


I can't imagine it being much more than the usual interact with a character over the course of the game, go down the right dialogue tree far enough and then take the plunge with one of the characters in your "crew".



kvan33
kvan33

90% of the buzz around this game appears to be around the romance options. Pathetic.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

I think instead of options they could for once focus on making the ones they do believable. The ones especially in DA2 and ME2/3 were very clumsy in-my-face hey I like you lets be lovers. I like to think that in real world our behavior tells pretty clearly if we are interested in someone or not and not everyone has to ask if I'm up to something. Its very jarring to be in middle of saving the world when a squadmate starts to ask if I like him or her that way.


The other option is doing it Skyrim style where they have dozens of "romanceable" characters and it's just a simple "Marry: Yes/No" choice.

grankle
grankle

I've said it once and I'll say it again - I DEMAND MAN ON MAN ACTION!

PCsama
PCsama

Bioware and EA supported this staff since Dragon Age 1 and 2 now for the 3 ..it is just an Advertisement for the game that's all making a fuse for keeping people toned

isshiah
isshiah

I appreciate that the DA universe has it's share of bigots. Although, with the world seemingly coming to an end every few years, people might have more on their mind than orleisian homosexuals or those foreigners with horns.


People forgetting their differences during a crisis and what not.

Pooya1881
Pooya1881

i personally like the idea that not every member in my team is pansexual.
characters being from different sexual orientations helps the story a lot, u get all sorts of different ideas from different point of views.it makes a lot more sense and makes it realistic.


crmorosko
crmorosko

Freedom of speech and thought can no longer happen without someone being offended or neglected. I want a developer to say no we didnt care to (blanking) put that in if we did (blanking) care to put "it" in "it" would be in the game.

foozlefop
foozlefop

yeah, but one should be careful about what they are backing into, no?

Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

This is ridiculous. Every single word and sentence is guarded by being so extremely vague. This guy can't even go into detail because on a topic like this, you can get fired over it if you make one slip-up that possibly offends someone.

Thats what's wrong with this whole political-correctness society nowadays. You can't even feel comfortable expressing your own opinions for fear of repercussions.... but isn't that the whole point of most of these groups? To be able to freely express how you feel and be okay with it?

Oh ya, thats only if you're on their side.

Clovergirl227
Clovergirl227

This is really ridiculous. Why is it so necessary to drag up politics for no reason other than to shove it into the faces of others? I always took it as a game’s attempt to be open-ended because people like to play as their opposite gender and still go after who they like. Why has it suddenly become a political issue of “Supporting X demographic?” It's open ended and neutral. Do it if you want or don't, but don't go out of your way to make an issue out of it Bioware..

musalala
musalala

I find it sad that Bioware are putting so much emphasis on arguably the worst aspect of their games, I think their games would be alot better if they just removed the romance stuff altogether.

musalala
musalala

David gaider...isn't he the guy from bioware who thought "Twilight did romance right"

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

That's good. If you're gonna include sexuality in your character's development, keep it consistant and believable. Don't just make everyone bisexual like DA 2. Yay.

youre_a_sheep
youre_a_sheep

In Origins I liked that you had to be a bad boy to seduce Morrigan, that you had to be honorable to win over the religious Leiliana, etc.  The reactions you got made sense once you got to know the characters.  I expect Inquisition to work similarly.  You can play Dragon Age without any romancing at all if you choose, so there's nothing for anyone to get worked up about.

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

Hopefully the women NPC's look good at least like in Mass Effect 3. Also if they want to appeal to everyone so much, why not throw some overweight NPC's in the mix like GTA V did? Not everyone is slim and trim. I remember seeing a couple of ghetto booties driving through the hoods in GTA V, lol.

Hurvl
Hurvl

It's a video game, not a political manifesto, godammit! If it doesn't fit, that means it doesn't f-ing fit - nothing more! Games aren't meant to cater to any one group.

Anigmar
Anigmar

My 2 comments got deleted and they were not offensive at all. No foul language in them either. Thanks GS

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

I guess being a heterosexual gamer is a bad thing nowadays. Or at least when you play a Bioware game since they're more concerned with appeasing queer gamers, rather than focusing on making a good game. Especially since the last two Dragon Age games sucked in one way or another.

illusion4
illusion4

@Pooya1881I agree to a point. That's okay when you have a lot of choices, but when you're choosing from a limited party you end up at the point where you abstain or choose someone simply because of their sexuality, that isn't realistic either.

bigruss51
bigruss51

@Pooya1881 Changing one main character's sexual preference is a big deal because the world in the game isn't that big to simulate the world we live in with it's many diversities. I hear what you're saying tho.

bigruss51
bigruss51

@crmorosko Exactly. People are so afraid to offend someone these days. Even with all of our technological advances and knowledge that's available these days this has got to be the dumbest the human race has ever been. The future generations are going to laugh at us.

CatAtomic999
CatAtomic999

@musalala God, I agree. I always find myself going out of my way to avoid anything that looks like it might lead down a romantic path. But all the characters keep giving you these big, obvious opportunities and not-so-subtley flirting with you. It's like playing a pretty girl simulator.

Zombies101
Zombies101

@musalala  Why remove them when so many would complain about its absence. Not to mention they are easy enough to completely ignore. 

illusion4
illusion4

@Total_mischief Having everyone just start out as bisexual isn't believable. Perhaps having a character that defines themselves as "straight," but eventually falls for the player character regardless of their gender would also be acceptable if it's well written and makes sense. It's a matter of acknowledging the gender of the player character and writing a story/romance that fits, not just having everyone be bisexual and not take gender into account at all, that definitely isn't realistic.

Fugicara
Fugicara

@mihael88  It doesn't sound at all like he is afraid of things that are the same.  Please use a different term.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@HipHopBeats Actually, that's a bit expensive.  A *lot* of games really just have one male and one female body then they plop different heads and skin tones on them.  It would be nice if they could do it but I'm not going in expecting it.

sammoth
sammoth

@Hurvl So in your opinion they are supposed to cater to you. Forget the rest of the world.

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

@Hurvl If games aren't meant to cater to one group, then how do you explain Dark Souls? That game wasn't meant for everybody, lol

iamllamapie
iamllamapie

@Anigmar  Tell me about it. I told a guy why not everyone who bought tablets were "easily amused ret*rds", but I got deleted and he, someone who doesn't know the table demographics and proceeded to call them names stayed up.

Something wrong on this site. 

alexsau
alexsau

@HipHopBeats  You're so totally right. The white hetrosexual man has been oppressed for too long. It's truly shocking that they'd dare put a homosexual character in a game like they actually exist. Why do you know I think I also once witnessed two UNMARRIED characters having sex in a BioWare game!! Can you imagine it? I do hope that somebody altered the 19th century church elders for that blunder!  

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@HipHopBeats Oh stop.  This dude was writing a blog post to tell someone who was accusing him of not being inclusive enough to chill.  So, it's clear you didn't read the article, got your ignorant ass all atwitter, and jumped right to the comments.    


Us straight guys are doing just fine. 

Hurvl
Hurvl

@sammoth @HurvlIt's funny how you interpret "Games aren't meant to cater to any one group" as meaning "games should cater to me". I don't see myself as a group, I'm only one guy, and I don't think games should cater to just me.

Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

Exactly his point. A game should direct gameplay to a demographic, not political correctness.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@HipHopBeats @HurvlI said that games aren't *meant* to do so, that they shouldn't do so. The fact that there ARE games that do so doesn't make my opinion any less valid.

linkster362
linkster362

@olddadgamer @HipHopBeats interesting point

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

@suppaphly42 @HipHopBeats@HurvlLol, Dying and starting the whole level over is not my cup of tea, but I support games like Dark Souls because it's doing something different and not trying to appeal to everyone.

alexsau
alexsau

@DuskStrider Hmmm... how exactly could I be projecting? I've not actually alluded to my sexuality, nor my race or gender. That's a mighty big assumption on your part. Could it be possible that dismissing my comment as projection makes you feel better?


Why bring race into this?... Why bring marriage and gender into it too, huh? It sure is interesting that you chose to bring up race, right?

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

@suppaphly42 @HipHopBeats@olddadgamerI'm usually laughing when I type my replies to someone who feels I'm ignorant. It's funny when they reply with more insults because I know I'm getting to them. It actually got entertaining for a second when you jumped in, lol!

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

@suppaphly42 @HipHopBeats@olddadgamer Honestly I'm just bored killing time on a break. I take none of this seriously. I just have fun going back and forth with overlt serious people who feel a need to call me names over my opinion and use words like atwitter. This is no doubt stupidity from all sides, but fuck it, I'm on a break. Carry on.

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

@olddadgamer @HipHopBeats@suppaphly42 All I did was type a comment and you and your girl felt butthurt enough to reply with unecessary name calling. 

Even if you think I'm ignorant, you can disagree in a respectful way and we'd be cool. The fact that you reply in your first comment with insults shows I must have hurt your feelings in some way.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@HipHopBeats @suppaphly42@olddadgamerNot popularity, just familiarity there, dawg.  


Now, you have established you are ignorant, so I need not insult you further.  You obviously have nothing to contribute to this discussion, and, as I am guessing you are so white you hurt my eyes, the irony that you want to be associated with a minority group that won't have you while you insult another minority group is getting distracting.  

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

@suppaphly42 @olddadgamer@HipHopBeatsHa ha! I'm being tag teamed by you and your girlfriend suppahly42. 


Boasting about your popularity on a gaming site already proves how much of a life you have. Who cares who's seen me on here before? 

And what does that have to do with you and your girlfriend trying to double team me with the lame insults?

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@HipHopBeats @olddadgamerDude, I've been around this site long enough that pretty much everyone knows I am not "fronting."  Considering you call yourself "hip hop beats" and no one here has ever seen you before, one might think you're the one who's fronting, yes?