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.

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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."

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