Dontnod Entertainment's Remember Me
– set in Neo-Paris 2084, the game stars Nilin, a memory hunter – got a lot of dismissals from publishers thanks to its female lead. For some publishers, successful games and male leads are synonymous, so when creative director Jean-Max Morris and his crew were shopping for publishers, this spurred the cold shoulder.
"We had some that said, 'Well, we don't want to publish it because that's not going to succeed. You can't have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that,'" Morris told The Penny Arcade Report
. Capcom, of course, didn't seem to mind
.Morris said the decision to have a female lead was "something that just felt right from the beginning" of development. "It's one of those things that we never looked at from a pure, cold marketing perspective because that would have endangered the consistency of the whole game." That's not to say Morris didn't receive the advice to switch Nilin from a girl to a guy, but changing Nilin would've been relatively impossible for the stage Remember Me was at. Still, hypothetically that change would've brought its own set of problems.
One anecdote Morris talked about is a scene where we see Nilin kiss a man and Morris was told that scene wouldn't work if she was switched to a guy, even though technically it would be far from the first depiction of same-sex romance in video games. "We had people tell us, 'You can't make a dude like the player kiss another dude in the game, that's going to feel awkward.'" For Morris, that response is puzzling. "I'm like, 'If you think like that, there's no way the medium's going to mature,'" he said. "There's a level of immersion that you need to be at, but it's not like your sexual orientation is being questioned by playing a game. I don't know, that's extremely weird to me."
Remember Me launches on June 4 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.