Leads don't need to be white males, says Remember Me dev

Dontnod cofounder Jean-Maxime Moris says Capcom never pressured studio to alter appearance of game's mixed-race female lead character.

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Some of the most popular and best selling games feature white males as protagonists, but fitting that mold is not a requirement for success, according to Remember Me developer Dontnod cofounder Jean-Maxime Moris. He told CVG in a new interview that the developer never faced any pressure from publisher Capcom to change its lead characters' appearance. Remember Me's protagonist is a mixed-race female character named Nilin.

"No, we wanted Nilin to stand out. I think these sort of issues become self-fulfilling prophesies; people saying that only white males sell so then everyone only does white males," Moris said. "If you start believing these things you get your head inside this cold marketing strategy that you cannot get your head around. It becomes a pretty f**king racist and misogynistic way of thinking about lead characters."

Remember Me (formerly Adrift) is a third-person game due out in May 2013 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Despite the game not shipping until next year, Capcom is already planning to spin the game into a "major franchise" and is even eyeing next-generation consoles for future installments.

Discussion

0 comments
Storm_Marine
Storm_Marine

Oh wow, he made a game starring a hot chick. How edgy and innovative of him....

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

Wow which was the last game I played that had a female lead,RE3?

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I'm glad to see companies taking this path, though it seems to be just foreign companies as of now (Ubisoft with AC: Liberation and now DONTNOD). Having non-white leads is fine as long as they don't make them stereotypical.

jubdeidamasta
jubdeidamasta

If they want to I say go for it, just do it right. It's kind of like why I like create-your characters games more. It's is one of my favorite things about Mass Effect and games like Skyrim, Fallout, etc. You have a great story wrapped around a character that the player designs. Even if the "default" character is a white male.

lorider25
lorider25

I would rather not have japanese or white developers make minority characters anymore, because 99% of the time they're stereotyped uncreative messes. If minorities want their own protagonists, then they can develop their own games. It would be a lot better that way.

 

These white and japanese developers show how out of touch they are with the real world when they try to make characters that aren't white/japanese. They're very uncreative with minority characters and that's too be expected from a group of people who get  their source material from the "idiot box". They're also very lazy, that most of the time they have to rely on using minority celebrities (eg. Ryder = Eazy E) or they ride the coatails of a white hero's success, and then change it so the hero is now latino, instead of coming out with a minority character from scratch.

 

Seriously, why bother if you're not going to do it properly. Just **** off. If you can only be creative when you make white/japanese characters, then just make white/japanese characters. Enough with the stereotypes and enough of the minority sidekick to the white/japanese protagonist.

 

I really don't want to see anymore crappy minority characters so you can go "Hey look how diverse we are, we added a negro to our game! derp, herp!" Also white male gamers have have a huge problem when playing as a minority or a female in games anyways, while minorities don't really care as much because they don't suffer from a superiority complex like they do. I know some minorities won't like it and you'll take what you can get. But me, personally don't want to see anymore minority or female characters from the point view of white/japanese male developer. It's almost always a mess or some perverted fantasy. Not just in games, but everything from movies to cartoons.

 

I can't even name 10 games with a minority lead character, who wasn't asian or white and not some stereotype joke.

 

P.S.  Half white and half whatever characters don't count.

 

 

 

 

 

MasterBlade7123
MasterBlade7123

I want to see a game were a White male is the protagonist who was adopted and raised by a Black family in a Latin community. His big sister is his guardian and the antagonist is a Black female.  

IgotEpixx
IgotEpixx

Because they designed the box art that shows her well formed, large, rear pointed towards the buyer and they thought "This really shows off her intellect!"

tgwolf
tgwolf

...So, level with me here, folks, what is it that gets into the minds of people that makes them think that there is an over emphasis on Caucasians, or some restriction on races...? Seriously, who has their head in a box at this point to think that? Important: DON'T CONFUSE HEURISTICS and lazy conventions with RESTRICTIONS on creativity!!

zpluffy
zpluffy

It feels weir playing as a female character. Especially an adventure game like Tomb Raider, no matter how good the game is, for me it's just a little weird. I tend to think about how the enemies would actually do to her in real life situation, I mean she is pretty hot. And also, females tend to have some "other" complications that happened in their body, so ...I also tend to think that.

Morfessa
Morfessa

Oh, she's not a blue hedge-hog?

6orange6
6orange6

well this is video games, not a movie, give people choice at game start up for crying out loud, it's not rocket science.

Razer361
Razer361

I don't care if the lead character is blue, as long as the game is fun

AlexFili
AlexFili

Before we had white male leads, we had things like Pacman and Q-Bert (who swore like a sailor). Now we have black guys in things like GTA and Prototype, multi-cultural female characters like the hero of PS Vita ACIII Liberation. Things have changed a lot over time. Let's not forget the games where you can choose your own gender and race. 

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

I don't care what the lead character is, as long as the gameplay is great. U could have a female or male lead character, black or white, Asian or Indian, alien or animal! I don't care as long as the game is fun!

sonicare
sonicare

You know what sells more than white male leads?  Voluptuous women protagonists with massively unrealistic dimensions.

dark_jedi79
dark_jedi79

Remember, if you are a white heterosexual male, you are evil!!!

wyan_
wyan_

I've never cared whether a lead character was black, white, orange, male, female, furry or alien. Amen?

SangheliZealotX
SangheliZealotX

I wish this game was a ps3 exclusive, it looks so bad it doesn't deserve to be on xbox.

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

i miss the days when games were over populated with animal protagonists with attitude

espviper301
espviper301

I want to refresh my post because the original one I posted about 24 hours ago has sparked a solid mix of people who considered my comments racist and others who actually understand what I was getting at. 

 

First off - My original post went into a very detailed analysis of why the most commonly used protagonist is a white male.  Was every single letter of my analysis 100% perfect?  Of course not.  But I considered it to be rather robust from a business perspective, because that was the purpose of my comments.

 

I can easily see why people would brand me as racist.  It's whatever.  I know who I am and I don't know any of you so I really don't give a damn.  But I feel I must add to my argument from a different angle.  There have been several great games that have not had white-male protagonists.  But look at the games that become franchises: Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, Splinter Cell, Medal of Honor, Gears of War, God of War, Uncharted, Deus Ex, Metal Gear Solid, Dead Space, Mario, Half-Life, Max Payne, etc.  What are the main protagonists?  White males.  I even included Halo because I know everyone unconsciously imagines Master Chief is a white guy.

 

Specifically, I want to focus on Assassin's Creed.  AC has been a phenomenal gaming franchise and AC III, with a native American, it the absolute perfect example of a game that clearly is awesome without defaulting to a white guy protagonist.  Unfortunately, the game generated its success through using white guys until the franchise was good enough to move away from that dynamic.  Yeah....Altair was not a white guy....but he sure talked like one in that game.

 

Of all the GTA games, how many has it not been a white male protagonist?  I'll admit my original post may have been a little brash, but I live in America where the minorities rule the country, so yeah....I'm a little pissed.  I can't wait for the bleeding-heart liberal feedback to go along with the "you're racist!!" blah blah blah bullshit.

 

Nut up and come back to Earth!

 

DAMSOG
DAMSOG

If your target audience is made up of predominately white males why the hell wouldn't you cater to them? This touchy feely approach from developers is rediculous and not needed, when you look back at some of the biggest game franchises they aren't white males...Lara Croft would agree.

jhcho2
jhcho2

Did anybody ever come out and say that lead characters HAD to me white males?

Rattlesnake_8
Rattlesnake_8

There are many games where you play as something other than a white male.

CW1252
CW1252

I like his mindset. It would be nice to see developers make more concerted effort to break away from the default "white protagonist" stereotype in gaming altogether (GOW,DMC,MOH,BF3, RE6, CODMW, BLOPS, FarCry just to name a few). Personally, I think this would make games more dynamic in character development and give greater appeal. Assassins Creed was a refreshing experience and well crafted.

Sndewey
Sndewey

We have know this for a very long time

metroidhunterx
metroidhunterx

How cute, the main character's name is Nilin - a palindrome, just like the development studio's name, Dontnod.  Kind of like Crytek's FarCry and Crysis.  Utterly brilliant.

OGKNav
OGKNav

"White" is an extremely vague description for a protagonist. Seriously. How many skin colors can you truly have before you start pulling reverse racism.

IgotEpixx
IgotEpixx

Its not about misogyny.

 

Games are used for escapism. Most people like to imagine themselves in the role of the character. Since the vast majority of gamers are white males, they have attractive, short haired, muscular/toned white males in order to ease in that sense of "this is me being a badarse in the game".

 

If mostly black lesbian woman played video games we'd see almost exclusively black lesbian female protagonists. Its not sexism, its catering to your biggest audience. 

zpluffy
zpluffy

 @Suikogaiden And don't forget, If you don't vote or don't like Obama and you're white, you're also racist : )

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

 @espviper301 hold on i was with you...up until you asid you live in America....and that it is ruled by minorities. Are you a? are you an fool sir?

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

 @DAMSOG  Lara was only successful because of her appearance. many will deny it but the control mechanics in those games sucked. Had it been some random male I doubt it would have done as well.

ambition_def
ambition_def

 @CW1252 

 

Get Hollywood to move away from the usual white antagonist  while you are at it. 

MaKillaGorilla
MaKillaGorilla

@zpluffy @Suikogaiden its shit like that which I find ridiculous. Obviously gamespot is not the site for an intellectual debate over human conditions but go to hell, seriously.

espviper301
espviper301

 @Chaos_Dante_456 You think it's not ruled by minorities?...Seriously?...I can't even begin to argue that obvious point to you because I'd be typing into next week!

edubb85
edubb85

 @Chaos_Dante_456  @DAMSOG i personally thought the first couple of Tomb Raiders were really great for their time. And at that age I probably would have preferred a male protagonist.

gf61
gf61

 @espviper301  @Chaos_Dante_456 Do you really think he'd be in office if Britain hadn't done it first, if we had a good economy, or the ppl we trusted to run the country didn't run it to the ground?

espviper301
espviper301

 @Chaos_Dante_456 Look at the demographics who voted Obama back in office...and tell me who has the power in this country.  Wake the fuck up.

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

 @espviper301 You have to be a troll no other explanation. Noone can really be that stupid to believe that lol.  I've seen some dumb posts on the internet but man!