Rust Dev Says Ubisoft Was Unfairly Singled Out in Controversy over Female Playable Characters

"It would undoubtedly be good if there were more female protagonists in games," Garry Newman says.

The topic of female protagonists in video games has received much attention since Ubisoft controversially announced at E3 last week that Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 would not have playable female characters. Now, Garry's Mod and Rust developer Garry Newman has responded to the drama, stating his thoughts across a series of tweets today.

"It would undoubtedly be good if there were more female protagonists in games, but rallying against games for not having any is insane, in my own personal opinion," Newman said. "I don't know why you think I'm against adding diversity. I'm against trying to force developers to add diversity."

Last week, as the news broke that Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 would not have playable female characters, Newman controversially said, "I never understand the misguided outrage of the self-elected video gamer feminists." Someone then asked him if he planned to add female avatars to Rust, to which he--perhaps jokingly--replied: "No, women are silly."

Newman's comments today on Twitter were made to a person who asked if they could have a refund for Rust. Newman said, also as a joke, "You need to talk to steam support. We don't have a procedure in place to give refunds to people offended by jokes on Twitter."

In the end, Newman maintains that Ubisoft was unfairly singled out in this case. "I am not against a conversation," he said. "I felt it was unfair to [rally] against a single company and stomping on them as if they invented sexism."

The role of women in games is making mainstream headlines, as the Associated Press today ran a story about why there are not more major games with leading ladies. The story features comments from executives at Activision, Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts. EA Studios executive Patrick Soderlund says, "My thesis is that it's a male-dominated business. I'm not sure that flies, but I think it overall may have something to do with it--that boys tend to design for boys and women for women."

It was originally suggested that creating female playable characters for Assassin's Creed Unity would have been too technically taxing, but Ubisoft issued a formal statement later on to explain the real situation. "We recognize the valid concern around diversity in video game narrative," Ubisoft said at the time. "Assassin's Creed is developed by a multicultural team of various faiths and beliefs and we hope this attention to diversity is reflected in the settings of our games and our characters. With regard to diversity in our playable Assassins, we've featured Aveline, Connor, Adewale and Altair in Assassin's Creed games and we continue to look at showcasing diverse characters. We look forward to introducing you to some of the strong female characters in Assassin's Creed Unity."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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361 comments
lyncer777
lyncer777

do yourself a favor and ignore any news related to ubisoft. coz its ubisoft here, ubisoft there, F***

pterois3
pterois3

Another female protagonist will come in time. From the secret society of the Dragon!

cynicritic
cynicritic

Men are physically superior to Women when it comes to strength and natural ability. Make the fourth Assassin female and the others would have to stop every 100 metres for the chick to find a ladder to get herself up most of those climbs...


It's nature. Men are the physical hunters and protectors and Women nurture and cook. 

Feminism and Political Correctness is trying to replace the natural order of things and warp the minds of the people. 

wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

women are not violent and aggressive, so they don't belong in those types of games except in rare cases. it's like demanding that men breast feed babies in a video game about breast feeding. I realize it's just a game so you could make men be like that, but it's unnatural. feminists have messed our society up enough with some of their silly ideas. we don't need them to ruin video games too.

NeoMortiny
NeoMortiny

I understand his point.


People like to talk, people like to be heard.

fcoenrique
fcoenrique

Who dafuq wants a female protagonist in a game like this one?

ilovelctr
ilovelctr

Make games qualitative, because that matters, and shut the ***k up about gender crap please!

cynicritic
cynicritic

Don't get your tears in my sandwich now ladies...

deathstream
deathstream

Nothing unfair about it.  They made a four player coop game and none of the four are female.  That is not the norm.  

dpclark
dpclark

I want to say something important about this, but... I can't think of anything.

nigelholden
nigelholden

"I don't know why you think I'm against adding diversity. I'm against trying to force developers to add diversity."


I don't get why this is such a hard nuance for people to understand. I know plenty of people who would like games with more diversity. More games in general. But that doesn't mean people have to megaphone bully the creative process and artistic expression into delivering what they specifically want. Of course, it's their right, but that doesn't make them immune to counter criticism regarding their arguments. 


toddx77
toddx77

For everyone mentioning how only Ubisoft is taking heat for not having a female protagonist while the other companies aren't that is how things work with groups like this.  They target the one group that will get them the most attention.  The same thing happened twice last year.  During Sony's Press conference in early 2014 Sony was accused of being sexist because no women were on stage.  Later at E3 Microsoft was chosen as people took to twitter to say "thanks a lot Microsoft for showing no games at E3 with woman protagonists" even though Microsoft didn't make any of those games so they had no control. Considering everyone was already hating on Microsoft because of their original Xbox One policies it seemed like a perfect fit to make Microsoft look even more evil and try to being them down. This year it was Ubisoft and next year it will be a different company.  

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

I think the romance novel industry has a big problem too, they don't make stories that men can get into, which is why so few men read them, which is a problem of some sort, like games not specifically geared to women.  What they need to do is gear romance novels towards men by changing them drastically to suit men (more blood, guts, war, long discussion about cars), that will fix the "problem."

man, we're fixing a lot of "problems" over here :)

OhSnapitz
OhSnapitz

Ok.. so I guess..

Mirrors Edge

Tomb Raider

Dragon Age Inquisition

Fable Legends

Bayonetta 2

Destiny

Evolve

Hyrule Warriors

Ect... (in perspective of E3)

Don't count for anything..

cboye18
cboye18

Why can't I have more games with non-human protagonist, like Ratchet and Clank, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Banjo Kazooie etc etc? 

tx_409
tx_409

It is unfair they are being singled out for not having playable female characters, Especially when they are one of the first Big Devs to introduce Female playable characters into their games. For examples: Rainbow Six Vegas 1&2, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, Splinter Cell Double Agent, Previous Assassins Creeds. What about going after the other Big Devs like DICE, Infinity Ward, Treyarch? How many years have they been at it and whats their track record looking like of playable female characters over the years? Call of Duty Ghost?

oflow
oflow

I dont really understand why people keep parroting that theres a lack of female protagonists in games.

I can name long list games with them just off the dome:

Kerrigan from Starcraft
Jaina from Warcraft
Child of Light

Tomb Raider

Metroid
Bayonetta
Remember Me

TLoU

Heavenly Sword
Wet
the FF games
Mirror's Edge
Alice 
Perfect Dark
Beyond Good & Evil
HL
Mass Effect 2
Bloodrayne
Alien: Isolation
Borderlands 2
DOA
Streetfighter
Heavy Rain
Portal
RE

They are in AAA, indies and fighters.


snowy_otaku
snowy_otaku

That is the most absurd thing I've heard all day.

Even if that statement were true, it does not apply to video games. Protagonists possess unrealistic physical attributes regardless of gender.

What you're saying is that people should just accept and adhere to their traditional gender roles and that's absolutely ridiculous.

There's no objective role of genders. It's not black and white.

rinwentrogue
rinwentrogue

@wheres_my_phone  This is one of the most ridiculous comparisons, and inaccurate assertions, I've ever seen.

"women are not violent and aggressive"

False. So very, very false.

"it's like demanding that men breast feed babies in a video game about breast feeding"

No, it's nothing like that. And, for the record, men can lactate.

"but it's unnatural"

No, it isn't. Women being violent and aggressive is no more unnatural than men being violent and aggressive. Men lactating is not unnatural. Just difficult, rare, and usually unnecessary.

snowy_otaku
snowy_otaku

It has nothing to do with it not being the norm. The problem is the lack of diversity. There's no reason all four characters should all be the same race and gender. Assassin's are not limited to just males so I see no reason to not have one female assassin in the group.

cooolio
cooolio

@deathstream That is like saying every game with 4 player coop has female characters. There are plenty of other developers who do neglect to have playable female characters.  It was stupid and unfair.  Do not bs.

toddx77
toddx77

@OhSnapitz Well as I was told the female characters in Bioware games don't count because you make them yourself. The female characters in Pokemon games don't count because the story is the same no matter which gender you choose.  Chell doesn't even count because the game is in first person and she doesn't talk.  Yes a guy actually told me this,but I wouldn't take it too serious as he was just trying to impress the girls in the conversation hoping to get laid lol.

toddx77
toddx77

@cboye18 Those non human characters still have genders though so it wouldn't really solve the problem lol.

Sw33tEscape
Sw33tEscape

@tx_409 Maybe that's why they are being singled out because people see this as a regression. They're going backwards and their excuse is that it's too difficult to do something they've done in the past. So people are calling them out on it.

k1DBLITZ
k1DBLITZ

@snowy_otaku That statement is true. You're in denial. If men are women are so physically equal, then why do women get a lower set of requirements to pass the physical test for becoming a fire fighter?


How many women do you know that you can "man" pushups? (aka: not using your knees)


Men have more testosterone;


Women have more estrogen;


It's that simple really. Get over it. 

wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

we like realism in our games, so having a girl kill a bunch of guys is kinda unrealistic. it was fun doing it in Liberation and some women have skills like that, but it's more believable and common for men to be brutal violent killers. Ubisoft doesn't need to have women protagonists as often or more than men.

I used to work at a company that was almost all girls. I thought sometimes about how it was funny that it was all girls but there was nothing wrong with that. Haha I can't imagine complaining about how my company should have more guys. My boss, like the devs who make AC games, preferred a certain sex because of the nature of the work.

I mean, men are natural warriors and killers and AC aims for realism. Women don't suit the role as well.

snowy_otaku
snowy_otaku

You're totally right. Why must people make baseless generalizations and try to apply them to video games?

snowy_otaku
snowy_otaku

It's a video game! It isn't meant to account for every stereotype known to man. For Christ's sake, they already made women and men do the impossible so just add another one and never do it again for all I care.

I will not get over this ridiculous implication that no woman other than Aveline de freaking Grandpre can do these things.

Sw33tEscape
Sw33tEscape

@wheres_my_phone We like realism in our games, so having dragons in them is kinda unrealistic. We like realism in our games, so having a man go on a killing spree and then hide in his apartment from the cops is unrealistic. We like realism in our games, so having people access their ancestors' memories is kinda unrealistic. We like realism in our games...wait. Do we really?

snowy_otaku
snowy_otaku

Video games are wholly unrealistic! The things that these assassins do are already impossible for men or women to do. Plenty of women in history were brutal and violent killers. That isn't something unique to men.

It makes no sense to apply stereotypes to EVERY character in the game.

Women protagonists don't have to appear often because it's a male dominated industry so it's understandable. They just should appear more often than they are now.

rinwentrogue
rinwentrogue

@wheres_my_phone Except that we aren't claiming that they show as frequent instances of violence and physical aggression as men do, or even that they are as likely to engage in the same forms of violence that men do.

You made a blanket statement: "Women are not violent and aggressive."

That assertion is incorrect. If you had made the statement "women are statistically less likely to engage in certain forms of violence than men are", then you would have been correct. Furthermore, violence on the part of women is hardly "rare". It may be less frequent than violence from men, but "statistically less frequent" does not equate "rare".

Female-driven violence is common. It's just not -as- common as male-driven violence.

Your assertions are incorrect, and so is your chosen interpretation of my comments.

wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

That's a different type of game. Skyrim suits female warriors perfectly. Men going on killing sprees and then hiding out happens a lot. Just read the news. Not everything about AC is real, but most of it is trying to be believable it's not well suited for a female characters. Aveline was fine and hopefully they have another one again, but it doesn't need to be common in the series. It's better suited for men like how child of light is better suited for a female character. I wouldn't want a man in that game or even a grown up in that game because of what they're aiming for with the game.

wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

Assassins Creed is trying to be realistic. A female character isn't believable because women aren't like that. You could make it like that but nobody wants it that way

snowy_otaku
snowy_otaku

You haven't met every woman in existence to make that claim.

No one is saying they should be more prevalent than men. There should just be more than one freaking female protagonist.

That isn't really believable especially when the Assassin's Order houses many women already. They're already there. They just hardly ever get protagonist spots and that's ridiculous.

The only thing real about AC are the periods in history at which the stories take place and the historical figures. Everything else is fictional!

The stereotypes in our society don't tend to and shouldn't transfer to video games since they are works of fiction.

rinwentrogue
rinwentrogue

@wheres_my_phone Except that many women ARE like that. There's a very long history of female warriors, soldiers, and assassins, especially in the periods AC covers. Women and men have different areas in which they are stronger physically, but those gaps can be trained. To say that women aren't aggressive or highly physical is absurd. Tell that to a female soldier or athlete, and you'll get laughed out of town.

snowy_otaku
snowy_otaku

Assassin's Creed is not realistic and that is for the best. It has a certain degree of realism but it still isn't realistic. No one man or woman can kill that many people alone, take that many gunshots and survive or survive (let alone perfectly land in the hay everytime) that ridiculously beautiful leap of faith. Are those things meant to be believable?

There's absolutely no point in saying women can't do those things or women aren't like that because men can't do those things either because it's impossible. Men aren't like that either because that's a generality. Not all men are violence personified. Some are. The same rule applies to women.

Aveline was an awesome assassin. She was strong, resourceful, and just as skilled as the male assassins. Playing as black female assassin was extremely refreshing. It's not meant to be believable because video games are works of fiction.

wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

Once you're in the world it's pretty real. There's no magic, flying, or any super human abilities asides from quick health regen. You fight, investigate, and climb around on things.

I never said all women aren't that way but most aren't, especially compared to men who are naturally like that. That's why they're better suited for the role.

Stereotypes are important in fiction. They're great for characterizing people, satire, humor etc. A lot of stereotypes are true. Anything is okay in fiction but it depends what you're trying to say.

wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

They're not. They're physical builds and chemistry are very different. Long ago men didn't protect women because they thought that was their role. It was because women are generally much weaker and helpless against men. Women can train and get stronger but they can't compete with men in terms if strength.

There's a reason almost all murders and violent crimes are committed by men and that's because they're naturally violent and aggressive. Women are not. They're more mild tempered and loving. There's the odd exception but it's not the norm. I've played against lots of female athletes. They're weak and not as skilled in sports that require aggression. It's not fun playing against them because you hurt them easy.

snowy_otaku
snowy_otaku

It isn't just the health regeneration that makes it unrealistic. The assassins have superhuman strength, endurance, and stamina. Accessing the memories of your ancestors is also unrealistic. The events that take place are purely fictional.

Again, you have not met everyone to claim that even some stereotypes are true. Until you have delved into the lives of 7 billion people or suddenly become all-knowing, you cannot claim that any stereotypes are true. A stereotype is a fixed idea that applies to all people in a group and that is ridiculous.

Not all men are like how you say they are. There are plenty of weak and or nonviolent men in the world. Just like there are plenty of strong and violent women in the world.

This isn't satire. If anything is okay in fiction, why isn't this?

wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

It's not true for every man and women, but the stereotype is mostly true.

It doesn't suit the game well. Some things work better in games. The historical nature of men behaving like brutes and fighting for power is best suited for them. They're a nice fit for a vicious, evil world. Women could do it, like in Liberation, but it feels slightly out of place and a little weird

snowy_otaku
snowy_otaku

Again, you have not met most people to assert that it applies to most people especially when you cannot measure what they're capable of. Furthermore, there's no reason to apply it to fictional material.

If it worked fine in Liberation why would it not work well a second time? The hypothetical female protagonist wouldn't even be a main protagonist. She'd just essentially be a multiplayer character which has always worked fine in AC multiplayer.

The problem is that they've already done it. They've already made brutal and merciless killers out of woman. So why not give us another merciless female protagonist for this game?

snowy_otaku
snowy_otaku

But not single player because that ruins the realism! Unbelievable.

wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

haha no that's not why. It's because I don't play multiplayer in Assassins Creed