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Dontnod: Publishers wanted Life is Strange's hero to be male, but Square didn't

S. Prell, @SamPrell
January 11, 2015
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If you're wondering why Remember Me developer Dontnod Entertainment partnered with Square Enix to publish its upcoming game Life is Strange, look no further than the gender of its main character. "We had other publishers tell us, 'Make it a male lead character,'" company employees reveal in a new dev diary for the game. "Square were basically the only publisher that didn't want to change a single thing about the game. ... Square didn't even question [the decision to make Max female] once."

If this story sounds familiar, it might be because Dontnod was in a similar situation regarding Remember Me. "We had some [publishers] 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,'" creative director Jean-Max Morris said in March of 2013. Of course, the gender of its protagonists might not have been the only reason why other publishers passed on the project, but it's an interesting insight into the climate of games nonetheless.

Morris told Joystiq at Gamescom that despite the consistent use of female protagonists, the studio is not "trying to 'fix the industry.'" As a Dontnod employee says in the above diary, "It felt natural to have Max as a female character for this game."

Life is Strange's first episode of five will debut on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on January 30.
[Image: Square Enix]








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