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When will we see a gay protagonist in a triple-A game?

Not for a while, reckons Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon writer, because of a fear it would impact sales.
Ubisoft Montreal lead writer Lucien Soulban.

The writer of Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon reckons it'll be a while before we see a gay protagonist in a triple-A video game.

Why? Because of a fear it would impact sales.

In an interview with the Ubisoft blog, openly gay Ubisoft Montreal lead writer Lucien Soulban said any gay protagonist in a triple-A video game would probably have to come out of "left field" in a game made by the likes of Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar.

"So when are we going to see that gay protagonist in a AAA game? Not for a while, I suspect, because of fears that it'll impact sales," he said,

"So either we'll see a bait-and-switch like the original Metroid with Samus Aran where we'll find out damn near after the fact (PS: And Dumbledore was gay), or it'll come out of left field with Rockstar, Valve, Naughty Dog or Telltale, perhaps. But when it happens, I hope it's a serious take on it and not played up for jokes."

Still, Soulban said we will see more gay and lesbian characters in games. Indeed this is already happening, he believes, in games such as BioWare's Mass Effect.

"We'll definitely see more of them, and I think it's happening quietly," he said.

"Look at the choices offered in Mass Effect 2 & 3, or Fable 3, or Dragon Age 2 or Skyrim, the gay characters in Borderlands 2 who mention it without much fanfare, etc.

"Video games have stopped announcing gay characters. They're introducing them without much fanfare in an effort to say, 'Yeah, it's there and pretty normal.' Call it: 'We're here, we're queer, and we're busy working.'"

Last week David Gaider, lead writer of BioWare's Dragon Age series, wrote a blog post about being a gay man and how that related to his work.

"There are people out there for whom the presence of any gay content will automatically render it 'the gay game'," he said.

"The presence of two bisexual male followers in Dragon Age 2, only one of whom made advances on a male player without first being flirted with, means 'every man in Thedas is gay and wants my man-meat'. These are the same people for whom the mere existence of a gay character, or a plot that deals with gay subject matter, really anything that forces them to acknowledge that homosexuality so much as exists, is going to be a personal insult."

Despite these issues, Gaider concluded that it is right to include gay content in the video games he helps make.

"I remind myself that it's not that much to include, and really it's very little in comparison to the entire rest of the game," he said, "and thus, considering what it means to those fans who receive that validation almost nowhere else, it's not too much to demand a bit of tolerance and compassion from the portion of the audience for whom this content is not even intended."

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About the Author

Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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